ATLANTA - When you think about Buckhead, you likely picture tall buildings, upscale shopping, and trendy restaurants.
What you probably don’t envision is a secluded, 30-acre property featuring lush wetlands, woodlands, and meadows.
“We are four or five minutes away from the bustling activity in Buckhead,” says Melody Harclerode, executive director of the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. “People come here because they love the serenity, the tranquility, the peace.”
Blue Heron Nature Preserve is a City of Atlanta park that’s tucked away off of Roswell Road; managed by a non-profit (Blue Heron Nature Preserve, Inc.), the preserve is actually the result of one teacher’s idea.
“20 years ago, Nancy Jones — an educator at Sarah Smith Elementary School — had a vision of conserving seven acres of land from commercial development,” says Harclerode. “She worked with the community, she worked with the developers, she worked with the city to ensure that this land was preserved.”
Today, those seven acres have turned into 30, and the recently-completed Blueway Trail gives visitors a three-mile hike through the preserve’s distinct habitats, including meadows, wetlands, woodlands, and riparian (which refers to rivers and creeks). During our recent nature walk along the trail, we spotted several types of colorful flowers along with butterflies, skinks, and tiny amphibians.
Harclerode says the goal of Blue Heron Nature Preserve — now more than ever — is to provide visitors a place to slow down, relax, and enjoy nature.
“Your senses, I think, are so warmed and inspired by really seeing nature untouched,” she says. “The beauty of nature, as is.”
For more information on Blue Heron Nature Preserve, click over to the website here. And click the video player to check out our morning taking a hike on the Blueway Trail!