by Dottie Head, Director of Membership & Communications
Atlanta Audubon has received a $3,000 grant through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Viewing Grants program to construct and install a 12-foot-tall Chimney Swift tower at Atlanta’s Freedom Park.
The Chimney Swift tower at Freedom Park will complement existing bird- and pollinator-friendly habitat work completed by the Freedom Park Conservancy and their partners at the Freedom Park Bird and Wildflower Garden. Certified as an Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in 2018 and located in Freedom Park at the corner of North Avenue and Candler Park Drive, the garden is a site for the reintroduction of native plants and shrubs for bird and pollinator habitat.
Since the 1950s, Chimney Swifts and other aerial insectivores have experienced drastic population declines due to several factors, such as the increased use of pesticides that harms their main prey, flying insects, and the loss of swifts’ nesting and roosting habitat (formerly hollow trees and more recently, man- made chimneys). Chimney Swifts, now listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, have responded to these challenges by increasingly flocking to urban areas that offer abandoned factory smokestacks or historical home chimneys that have been left uncapped and which mimic their natural breeding and roosting sites.
Freedom Park is a free public park born out of formidable citizen activism linking the movements of environmentalism, urbanism, historic preservation and more. As one of Atlanta’s largest public green spaces, Freedom Park spans more than 200 acres, linking diverse areas such as the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, Poncey-Highland, the Carter Center and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Candler Park, Druid Hills, Virginia Highland, and Little Five Points.
Atlanta Audubon is building places where birds and people thrive. We create bird-friendly communities through conservation, education, and community engagement.