by Dottie Head, Director of Membership & Communications
Atlanta Audubon Society has received a $25,800 grant to restore bird-friendly habitat at the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve in Southwest Atlanta. The project is funded through a 2019 Five Star and Urban Waters grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).
Atlanta Audubon Society will work with seven partners to restore urban bird habitat by removing exotic, invasive plants and installing native, bird-friendly plants and conducting bird surveys in Cascade Springs Nature Preserve located in the Utoy Creek watershed in southwest Atlanta, Georgia. The results will be 12 acres of restored bottomland forest—a priority habitat in the Piedmont region—accompanied by a year's worth of bird population data, interpretive signage, and a series of educational programming with the local community. Partners include the Friends of Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, the City of Atlanta, Georgia Native Plant Society, Rock Spring Restorations, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Greening Youth Foundation, and National Audubon Society.
“Atlanta Audubon Society will work with partners to help restore the native forest while also contributing to National Audubon Society’s “Plants for Birds” initiative,” says Adam Betuel, Atlanta Audubon director of conservation. “Restoration efforts will focus on providing improved habitat conditions for resident and migratory songbirds, including many species which have been identified on the State of the Birds Watch List in 2016 and or the Georgia State Wildlife Action Plan, such as Wood Thrush, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Prothonotary Warbler, Canada Warbler, and Cape May Warbler.”
Atlanta Audubon’s restoration goals will focus on freeing the intact native tree canopy and repressed native seed bed by removing invasive, exotic plants such as Chinese privet, English ivy, and Japanese chaff flower and installing bird-friendly native plants as appropriate to supplement the native seed bed and provide more immediate benefits to birds and wildlife. In addition, Atlanta Audubon will conduct educational outreach and volunteer work days, including bird and plant walks and a local school program.
Major funding is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FedEx, Southern Company, Shell Oil Company, and BNSF Railway. The goal of this grant program is to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships for wetland, forest, riparian, and coastal habitat restoration, as well as stormwater management, outreach, and stewardship with a focus on water quality, watersheds, and the habitats they support. Forty-six projects totaling $1.7 million were awarded, leveraging $4.4 million in matching contributions from grantees, and generating a total impact of more than $6.1 million.
A full list of 2019 projects is available at https://www.nfwf.org/fivestar/Documents/2019grantslate.pdf
Atlanta Audubon Society is building places where birds and people thrive. We create birds -friendly communities through conservation, education, and community engagement.