A section of PATH400 in North Buckhead was recently designated an Atlanta Audubon Certified Wildlife Habitat as part of a collaborative effort between Atlanta Audubon Society, Livable Buckhead, and the North Buckhead Home and Garden Club. 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. The certified section runs between Lenox Road and Old Ivy Road, and was the first completed segment of the trail, opened to the public in January 2015.
To gain certification, invasive plants, including privet and English ivy, were removed from the area. In addition, a variety of native Georgia plant species, including oakleaf hydrangea, serviceberry, dwarf Yaupon hollies, sumac, and others, were added to the landscape to provide invaluable sources of food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. Atlanta Audubon Society’s goal is to create a network of certified wildlife sanctuaries throughout metro-Atlanta to counter the loss of wildlife habitat to urbanization and to provide additional habitat for the hundreds of birds and other species.
“Atlanta Audubon is excited to add a section of PATH400 to our network of more than 450 certified wildlife habitats in Atlanta and north Georgia,” 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. The PATH400 project is a great opportunity to showcase simple changes that anyone can make to create valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife.”
Some of the birds and wildlife species observed along the certified portion of the trail include American Goldfinches, Carolina Wrens, Northern Mockingbirds, Brown Thrashers, White-breasted Nuthatches, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a variety of wildlife species including squirrels, deer, raccoons, and opossum.
”This certification underscores one of the unique aspects of walking or jogging on PATH400,” said Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead. “Although the trail is immediately adjacent to a major highway, many portions of it feel as if you’re in the middle of the woods. Preserving that natural habitat has always been an important part of the PATH400 design, and we hope that future segments of the trail will be able to earn this certification from Atlanta Audubon as well.”
PATH400 runs along the spine of GA 400 and, once complete, will provide a 5.2-mile greenway through the heart of Buckhead, connecting neighborhoods, office and retail locations with a path for bicyclists and pedestrians. The multi-use greenway will eventually join with the Atlanta Beltline in the south and trails in Sandy Springs and north Fulton County, providing a key link in a regional trail network.
PATH400 is the first step toward implementation of the Buckhead Collection, a planned network of 106 acres of parks and trails in the neighborhood. Livable Buckhead is spearheading the PATH400 project in partnership with the Buckhead Community Improvement District (Buckhead CID) and the PATH Foundation. Several other agencies and organizations are involved in the development of PATH400, including Georgia Department of Transportation, the City of Atlanta, MARTA, Atlanta Neighborhood Planning Unit B, and Trees Atlanta.
For more information on certifying a property as an Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, visit https://www.atlantaaudubon.org/wildlife-sanctuary-certification.html. For more information on PATH400, visit http://path400greenway.org/.
Atlanta Audubon Society is building places where birds and people thrive. We create bird-friendly communities through conservation, education, and advocacy.