Sept. 1, 2016 - Plans to connect Buckhead to an urban wilderness is getting a big boost. The Kendeda Fund has pledged $500,000 to South Fork Conservancy, which builds and connects trails along Peachtree Creek in Atlanta and DeKalb County. The Kendeda Fund’s many goals include sustainability and improving connections to the natural world.
The announcement of the grant coincided with the kick-off of South Fork’s first capital campaign: Revealing the Creek. The group hopes to raise more than $2 million to build an iconic pedestrian bridge, footpaths and other improvements that will link the Lindbergh area, PATH400 and the Atlanta BeltLine to South Fork’s existing creekside trails.
"Kendeda’s magnificent grant gives us a solid base on which we can work to raise additional money – including promised matching funds – and demonstrates that our goal is within reach,” said South Fork Board Chairman Bob Kerr.
“You have to experience the South Fork Trails to really grasp their importance,” said South Fork co-founder Sally Sears, noting that philanthropist Diana Blank has visited the urban greenspace. “She saw long ago what a difference this very generous grant might make.”
Key South Fork supporters heard the news at an August 18 event hosted by capital campaign co-chairs Billy Hall and Joni Winston. Shortly before the surprise announcement, urban planner Ryan Gravel, best-known for inspiring the Atlanta BeltLine, recalled collaborating with Hall and Sears on South Fork’s initial Vision Plan.
“This topography and this terrain and this kind of watershed is all over Atlanta, but ‘all over Atlanta’ isn’t doing this,” said Gravel, whose new book is called “Where We Want to Live.” “I think that the South Fork vision here is a real model for the rest of the region in terms of connectivity, stream restoration, nature, biodiversity and all the other kinds of elements that are part of this plan.”
About South Fork Conservancy
South Fork Conservancy is actively developing walking trails along Atlanta’s Peachtree Creek. Its goal is to conserve the urban waterway, connect existing and future trails, and restore the area’s natural beauty. SFC’s first phase is to create a trail system that connects Buckhead, Atlanta’s upscale business and residential center, with Emory University’s campus. Open trails include The Confluence, Cheshire Farm and Meadow Loop trails in Buckhead, and Zonolite Park in DeKalb County.