About Us

Buckhead's crowning jewel isn't a mall or a restaurant or even an architectural achievement; it's not something humans built. The Blue Heron Nature Preserve is a twenty-five acre natural wilderness located just off heavily-trafficked Roswell Road in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Blue Heron Nature Preserve is a combination of four  pieces of land along and around Nancy Creek.  Our goals include involving local communities in the preservation and restoration of local greenspace, wetland habitats, stream bank and riparian corridors along in Nancy Creek.

The Preserve was founded in 2000, sparked by an efforts of a local school teacher and the North Buckhead Civic Association to preserve seven acres of floodplain along Nancy Creek, adjacent to new development on Rickenbacker Drive at Roswell Road. That year local residents, community groups, businesses and students began the considerable and ongoing task of removing invasive plants, planting native trees, and stabilizing the stream banks.

Over the next five years, the City of Atlanta added three large pieces of land  to the Preserve. The first was a nine-acre wetland at the end of Emma Lane (off Lakemoore Drive), and the second was the five-acre site of Nancy Creek Sewer Tunnel Roswell Road.  In 2007, the 5-acre site of THW Architects at 4055 Roswell Road was purchased by the City, bringing Blue Heron's holdings to about 25 acres.

As a community-based effort, the Preserve will continue to grow and provide a place of natural beauty for the local environment.


Our Vision Statement:

Our vision is to be a model of a vital urban ecosystem connecting people to long term health, heritage, knowledge and beauty of the natural world.

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Our Mission Statement:

Our Mission is to preserve, explore and share nature in an urban community.

Our Master Plan is available - download the .pdf file here.

The Blue Heron Nature Preserve is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit.


Our Staff

Nancy Jones
Ececutive Director


Maura Dudley
Executive Staff

Anne Stern
Volunteer Webmaster

Diane Evans
Volunteer Art Curator

Kayla Hughes
Teaching Staff

Betsy Lane
Butterfly Garden Volunteer

Gaylen Baxter
Facebook Volunteer

Blue Heron Board Members

Kevin McCauley
Board President

Charlie Baube

Libba Shortridge

Jay Levin

Langley Respess

Norris Broyles

Chad Wright



Wetlands Restoration

(possible beaver dam?)

The Lake Emma Wetlands property was added to the Preserve due to an EPA action in 2002. The developer owner, filled the original stream channel, a violation of the Clean Water Act and also diverted the water flow into a new hand dug channel. The Army Corps of Engineers permitted him to lower the level of the dam that held the original lake waters
and all of these actions combined accelerated the demise of the wetlands.

In 2012, we began looking at possible restoration options to improve water quality and habitat for wildlife which will involve grant writing, conversations with the City of Atlanta Watershed Department, EPA, EPD and the Army Corps.

We are just starting this process, so stay tuned for updates as we begin to move forward and invite the public for input and information.

BHNP Awarded Grant for Urban Waters Restoration

We are thrilled to announce that we have been selected to receive a grant from the NFWF for the 2013-14 year, through their "Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program". Our plans for this grant include, removing invasive plants, stabilizing the stream bank with native plantings, improving bird habitat and monitoring movement of terrestrial wildlife.

(work area to the left of the Preserve entrance - "The Plunge Pool")

The grant amount is $20,005.00 which comes from the EPA and Southern Company - with in kind matching coming from our local partners and volunteers. Stay tuned for more information on opportunities for you to get involved with this exciting project! We plan to start work on this grant immediately and will post work days for volunteers on the website as they come up.


Native Grasses Restoration

Water Bland, our plant guru, was on The Preserve recently assessing the grass restoration work that has been done. Walter raised these grasses from seed in his nursery and the young plants were transplanted at the Preserve to replace the non- native lawn that was there.

.............. ....(Walter Bland)...................................(Walter and Kevin at the Broom Sedge planting area.)