Kevin McCauley from the Blue Heron Nature Preserve located at 4055 Roswell Road in Atlanta inspired 25+ attendees at the July Walk and Talk. Kevin, noted as the “Beaver Whisperer”, explained the impact of the beavers in this island of green space in the busy city. This oasis of land is located along Nancy Creek and is home to red fox, deer, coyote, muskrats, otter, turtles, fish, birds and butterflies as well as beavers. The Blue Heron Preserve is a 501© (3) and manages this Atlanta Park largely through grants and private donations. The beavers while small in number keep the waters ecosystem healthy and thriving. Once the home of the Creek Indians, this site became a farm of 250 acres in 1877. In the 1920s a grist mill was built along with the now existing ponds. In the 1930s Wiley Moore, a prominent business man, purchased the property and established his estate naming the pond and street for his wife Emma. He had a clubhouse built which was the site for many elite Atlanta social events. It burned in the 1940s but the foundation is still visible .
While the ultimate goal for this area was for development into country estates , the 30 undeveloped acres is now the destination for many ecological field trips for schools, scout troops and others. It provides examples of 4 distinct habitats, including forest and meadow and the pond and wetlands that the beavers help maintain. Kevin invited us to visit the preserve any time. Each second Saturday, the Safari Series provides a variety of programs to educate participants while getting them out to experience nature first hand. October 15th, 9am-12pm is the Fall Open House Event. Check out details of their programs at bhnp.org or 404-345-1008.
After Kevin’s Talk we visited the Beaver pond near the River at McIntosh. The water level was low but wildlife animal tracks abounded in the mud and we found a gnawed stick left by a beaver. A few pictures may be found in the gallery.
Please visit the Photos to view pictures of this event.