by Dottie Head, Director of Membership & Communications
Governor Brian Kemp has signed a proclamation designating the month of September as Georgia Grows Native for Birds Month. Atlanta Audubon will host a number of events throughout September celebrating the critical connection between birds and native plants.
Saturday, September 14, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Tour
Headquarters site on tour day: Zonolite Park, Zonolite Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
This year’s Wildlife Sanctuary Tour will feature seven locations along an 8-mile route through intown Atlanta (DeKalb and Fulton counties). Each property provides four essential elements for attracting wildlife and birds: food sources (including at least 50% native plants), nesting sites, shelter, and water sources. The tour is self-guided, and visitors will see a wide variety of native plants in a diversity of settings that attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Advance tickets are available for $25/person through September 11. Walk-up tickets may be purchased at the Zonolite Park location for $30/person. More information and tickets available at www.atlantaaudubon.org/wildlife-sanctuary-tour.
Saturday, September 21, 9:00 to 11:00 AM
Concrete Jungle Ramble and Bird Walk
Join Jason Ward, bird walk leader and National Audubon community relations and outreach coordinator, and representatives from Concrete Jungle for a bird walk and tour of some of the urban trees from which Concrete Jungle harvests. Tickets are $10/each and may be purchased at www.atlantaaudubon.org/georgia-grows-native-for-birds-month.
Sunday, September 22, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Farm-to-Table Brunch with Atlanta Audubon and Georgia Organics
Wrecking Barn Farm, 4000 Bushy Fork Road, NW, Loganville, GA 30052
Join Atlanta Audubon and Georgia Organics for a farm-to-table brunch and bird walk at Wrecking Barn Farm in Loganville as we explore the relationship between sustainable agriculture, insects, and birds. Enjoy a hearty farm-to-table brunch prepared by local chefs. The brunch will include an omelet station highlighting Wrecking Barn Farm vegetables, a biscuit bar showcasing their artisanal bacon, housemade sausage, and pork butter, along with local fruits, housemade preserves, and whipped cream. There will also be a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar and bird-friendly coffee. The $75/person ticket supports construction of a Chimney Swift tower at Wrecking Barn Farm. More information and tickets at www.atlantaaudubon.org/farm-to-table-brunch.
Thursday, September 26, 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Swift Night Out at Brickworks Gallery
686-A Greenwod Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Join Atlanta Audubon and our partner Brickworks Gallery for a fun night celebrating the Chimney Swift, our 2019-2020 focal species. Brickworks is fortunate to have a chimney that is home to a flock of Chimney Swifts. We'll have a reception and enjoy the artwork in the gallery until dusk, at which point we will adjourn to the street outside to watch the spectacle as the huge flock of swifts descends into the chimney. Tickets are $12/person and include light appetizers and beverages on the evening of the event. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.atlantaaudubon.org/georgia-grows-native-for-birds-month.
Friday and Saturday, September 27 and 28, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM both days
Native Plant Sale at Chattahoochee Nature Center
9135 Willeo Road, Roswell, GA 30075
Atlanta Audubon will partner with Chattahoochee Nature Center on their fall native plant sale to help people find bird-friendly native plants for their landscapes. More information is available at www.atlantaaudubon.org/georgia-grows-native-for-birds-month.
Sunday, September 29, 1:00 to 6:00 PM
Chalk Art Festival at the Exhibitat at Piedmont Park
The Exhibitat at Piedmont Park located in Piedmont Commons section near Monroe Drive
Make Piedmont Park your canvas during Atlanta Audubon's Chalk Art Festival sponsored by Atlanta Audubon and the Piedmont Park Conservancy. We invite families, individuals, non-profits, businesses, corporate partners, and local artists to create temporary drawings. Participants will receive a 5 ft x 5 ft square in which to create a unique work of art celebrating Georgia's native plants and animals. The event will take place in front of Atlanta Audubon's Exhibitat at Piedmont Park. The Exhibitat is a permanent, bird-friendly habitat located in the Piedmont Commons section of Piedmont Park that features a native plant demonstration garden and Georgia's first Chimney Swift tower. Proceeds from the Chalk Art Festival will fund Chimney Swift tower construction around the metro-area. There will be three categories with prizes in each category: 1) organizations; 2) artists; and 3) families. The cost of squares varies by category. The event is free for the viewing public to attend. For more information or to purchase a square, visit www.atlantaaudubon.org/chalkart.
To read the full Georgia Grows Native for Birds Month Proclamation or to learn more about Georgia Grows Native for Birds Month events and purchase tickets, please visit our website at www.atlantaaudubon.org/georgia-grows-native-for-birds-month.
Atlanta Audubon is building places where birds and people thrive. We create bird-friendly communities through conservation, education, and advocacy.
It is with mixed emotions that I share with you all that I will be leaving Atlanta Audubon in mid-September for a new adventure. After nine amazing years, it is time for me to move on to new challenges and to spend more time with my family.
I did not make this decision lightly. I have great love and passion for Atlanta Audubon. The work that the board, staff, and I have accomplished over this time has elevated Atlanta Audubon to new heights and helped us earn the reputation of a solid conservation organization building places where birds and people thrive.
It is only through the loyal support of our network of members, donors, sponsors, advocates, volunteers, and partners that we have been able to achieve these successes. I would like to thank each of you personally for supporting Atlanta Audubon and believing in our vision, and I ask you to continue supporting the organization in the future. There are great things to come for Atlanta Audubon!
The board of directors will lead a search committee with the intent of hiring a new Executive Director by January 1, 2020. Atlanta Audubon's work to build places where birds and people thrive will continue as a new leader is identified.
Beginning September 15, Michelle Hamner, our current director of development, will step into the role of Interim Executive Director, keeping Atlanta Audubon on track until a new executive director is in place.
My final monthly meeting as Executive Director will be our August 25 meeting at Manuel's Tavern at 3:30 PM, and it will be an opportunity to say goodbye in person, to celebrate our successes, and to look towards the future. I hope to see you there!
by Dottie Head, Director of Membership & Communications
Atlanta Audubon Society has officially recognized Pine Lake, in DeKalb County, as an Atlanta Audubon Certified Wildlife Sanctuary. The certified area includes a 17-acre lake, a park, two adjoining wetlands, and a bio-retention area.
The Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Program encourages both private and public properties to enhance their land for birds and other wildlife by installing native plants and providing food, water, and shelter for birds and other wildlife.
“Pine Lake began as a camping resort to escape the big city of Atlanta, but over time the City had to redefine their vision,” says Megan Pulsts, a Pine Lake city council member who has been involved with restoration effort and who spearheaded the certification on behalf of the City of Pine Lake. “A tremendous amount of effort over many years has been invested in turning Pine Lake into an Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary.”
The smallest city in DeKalb County, the City of Pine Lake lies about 12 miles east of downtown Atlanta, off Rockbridge Road. The City and community worked together to remove invasive plant species, such as privet and English ivy, and to add native plant species to provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. Pine Lake added more than 150 new trees, 250 bushes, and 36,000 square feet of native wildflower and grass seeding. The focus was on native plant species that tolerate Georgia’s variable weather conditions, ensuring minimal maintenance over the lifetime of plantings.
As its name infers, Pine Lake features a beautiful lake as well as two constructed wetlands and a bio-retention pond that naturally filters storm water runoff and other water flowing through Pine Lake. The western wetlands features clusters of bigleaf magnolia, holly, and redbud trees, as well as blackberry spicebush and winterberries. The Pine Lake dam was seeded with wildflowers and native grasses, and, in the eastern wetlands, Southern magnolia, sycamore, swamp white oak, sweet gum, tulip poplar, native azaleas and other drought-tolerant species were added. Finally, more than 30 new trees were planted in the bio-retention area.
“Atlanta Audubon is thrilled to partner with the City of Pine Lake to add this beautiful lake, park, and adjoining wetlands to our network of more than 550 certified wildlife habitats in Atlanta and north Georgia. This is an amazing area and a true gem in the Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Program,” says Melinda Langston, Atlanta Audubon board member and wildlife sanctuary program coordinator. The welfare of birds and other wildlife is directly linked to the quality of food and shelter available to them. Pine Lake has worked diligently in recent years not only to create valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife but also to create a wonderful outdoor space for the residents of Pine Lake.”
For more information on certifying a property as an Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, visit our website. For more information on Pine Lake, visit www.pinelakega.com.