breaking news

'Stay off the roads,' snow and threat of ice linger

Atlanta’s Old-Growth Forests gain national recognition


Two hundred years ago, a great virgin forest covered the land that we now know as Atlanta. In 1821, the Creek Indians ceded the land to the U.S. government, and within three decades after that transfer of ownership, huge tracts of the forest had been cleared for cotton and other crops.

As Atlanta developed into a bustling metropolis, most of its remaining virgin forest was cut down. The city became a poster child for urban sprawl.

Fortunately, along the way, several pockets of the original forest were spared the axe, chainsaw and bulldozer. Most of them were on floodplains, in rocky areas or on steep slopes, locations that were considered un-buildable as Atlanta expanded.

Today, Atlanta harbors scattered remnants of old-growth forests that have attained great age without significant disturbance. One example is 34-acre Herbert Taylor Park and adjoining Daniel Johnson Nature Preserve in Midtown’s Morningside neighborhood. Breathtaking are its huge beech, loblolly pine, tulip and maple trees.

Not only are the old-growth forests places of natural splendor, they also help control storm runoff, clean the air of pollution and provide habitat for a wide array of native plants and animals, noted Kathryn Kolb, head of EcoAddendum, a group dedicated to raising awareness of Georgia’s natural environment.

Her group and several others are dedicated to identifying and protecting old-growth forests around Atlanta. At a recent event she helped organize at Emory Univeristy, more than 300 people showed up to celebrate the city’s old-growth remnants.

During the event, Joan Maloof, founder of the Maryland-based Old-Growth Forest Network, inducted 14 of Atlanta’s old-growth forests into the network, conferring upon them national recognition.

RELATED: Bright city lights cause migrating birds to collide into buildings

IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon will be full on Wednesday — the “Planting Moon,” as the Cherokee people called May’s full moon. Mercury and Venus are low in the east just before dawn. Mars is very low in the west at sunset. Jupiter is high in the east around dusk and will appear near the moon Sunday night. Saturn rises in the east just after sunset. The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be visible all weekend — in the southeast from about 3 a.m. until dawn.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

11 modern home decorating ideas that’ll transform any traditional space
11 modern home decorating ideas that’ll transform any traditional space

Two rules interior designers consistently remind us about decorating are to keep in mind your home’s original architecture and to try to stay true to your home’s roots. This doesn’t mean going full-blown Victorian with your furniture in a historic terrace home but rather to respect the original bones of the space, look for materials...
Where can I find it?
Where can I find it?

Q: I am of Italian descent and love lupini beans in the jar by Cento. They can be a snack or part of an antipasto. I have been unable to find them anywhere locally. Any leads or help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. MJ Malowney, Johns Creek A: I’m with you, MJ. I love marinated lupini beans mixed with olives so much that they...
Bouquet dianthus reigns supreme for show and cut flowers
Bouquet dianthus reigns supreme for show and cut flowers

This season has been amazing for those of us who have been growing the Bouquet series of dianthus. The flower power of this dianthus is unmatched in the gardening world. I admit there was a little anxiety with the recent winter storm called Benji. Now Bouquet Purple was a Minnesota Select Perennial Plant of the Year, so we know it has excellent cold-hardiness...
Bouquet dianthus reigns supreme for show and cut flowers
Bouquet dianthus reigns supreme for show and cut flowers

For apartment dwellers or anyone planning a party this month, paper-white narcissus are hard to beat. A pot or bowl of these pretty plants in bloom makes a great centerpiece or table decoration that you can put together yourself. Paper-white narcissus brings the garden indoors in winter, even if the bulbs never spent a day outside. They are tailor-made...
How to save succulents from rot in winter
How to save succulents from rot in winter

Are your succulents turning black? Are they gushy and soft when you touch them? The small accent color plants from warm dry climates slow down with the shortening of days into winter. They stop growing and therefore need no moisture besides what their bodies already hold. Yet water is continually applied, be it by rain or automatic sprinklers or a...
More Stories