Four trails are now sufficiently completed to suggest how the proposed Creek Trail can uncover Atlanta’s hidden greenspaces. The trails are all on public land, except for a small easement granted by the Cedar Chase condo association at the start of the Confluence trail. Volunteers from across the Southeast have worked tirelessly to help restore the creek and build access to the trails. The overall plan includes 31 miles of trails along the South Fork and its tributaries. Right now we're focusing on Phase 1: which will go form Buckhead to Emory. Click on the trail names above for more information. Scroll down for more on how this all started coming together.
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The idea of being able to restore the South Fork while reconnecting people to their natural environment appealed to founding Conservancy members, as did the goal of connecting public green spaces and communities along the creek with simple trails. After securing nonprofit standing and initial financial support from the Million Mile Greenway and The Kendeda Fund, the group was on its way. As word spread, the board quickly expanded to include trail builders, landscape architects, historians and ecologists, all of whom were excited about what could be accomplished in service to the watershed, to the communities served by it, and to the 75,000+ individuals living within easy walking distance of the South Fork.
In the fall of 2010, the Conservancy engaged Perkins+Will to create the South Fork Watershed Protection, Conservation and Connection Plan. Led by Ryan Gravel, the Georgia Tech student who originally envisioned the Atlanta BeltLine, a team of urban planners and ecologists inventoried the Creek’s existing conditions, identified preferred improvements, and laid out seven possible trail segments discerned from close observation of the watershed, research, and stakeholder interviews.
Almost immediately, the Conservancy began organizing enthusiastic volunteers, equipping them with mulch and clippers to begin establishing trails. The natural treasure that is the South Fork was being uncovered and brought into view!
In addition, the Conservancy has brought together the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Park Pride, Trees Atlanta, and the Piedmont Park Conservancy to participate in the Peachtree Creek Confluence Restoration project. Partially funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, this project will result in the removal of invasive species and the restoration of three acres of land bordering the headwaters of Peachtree Creek. Native species plants will be used to replace kudzu, privet, and other non-native invasive plants along .22 miles of the South Fork.
In the year since, the South Fork Conservancy has built strong relationships with community members, governmental organizations, and other non-profit as we moves forward with our vision. To find out more and/or to get involved with the Conservancy, why not sign up for a tour or get in touch?
Safety? Check! During the construction phase the Cheshire Farm Trail in the summer of 2014. A group of interested Atlanta Police Officers inspected three trails near the confluence to include them in maps and policing. They want to expand awareness and make sure the trails stay safe! Photographer Bill Head took the pictures below of the trail construction (and a friendly box turtle) as the police checked things out. City and area police leadership want to streamline trail signs and information and coordinate any incident reports.
Present in the photographs: Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Joe Spillane, head of field operations, Zone 2 Major Van Hobbs, Lt. RD Woody, head of detectives for Zone 2, and BeltLine patrol sergeant Will Schapker, Henry Batten LLCC, SFC Executive Director Sally Sears, and SFC Board Chairman Bob Kerr.