...  ...


Big Leaf Magnolia

Mid-May, 2013: There is a beautiful Big Leaf Native Magnolia in full bloom at the Rickenbacker entrance. They get their name from their huge leaves.  It is a shade loving understory species. This leaf measured over 12" long!



Tree Plantings

About three years ago we had a great volunteer day on Arbor day to plant 300 new trees at the wetlands. Now, these young trees are between 6-8 feet tall. In the far right photo is one of our green ash trees today, with the distinctive green ribbon on it - indicating that is one of the original plantings.

 .....  .....  .....


Tree Survey

After much hard work in the field we invite you to view the results of our Tree Survey.

There are 488 Trees in the survey so far.

(graph of the tree count by species)

There are 154 Box Elder, 72 Sycamore, 66 Loblolly Pine, 62 Tulip Poplar, 27 River Birch, 23 Ash, 21 Oak, 12 Willow, 10 Elm, 9 Sweetgum, 9 Cherry, 6 Maple, 5 Hickory, 3 American Hornbeam, 1 Dogwood, 1 Mulberry, 1 Southern Magnolia.

We also have some more unusual trees: Cedar, Mulberry, Osage Orange, Pecan, Tree of Heaven and Tupelo.

The largest tree is an Ash tree measuring 83" in diameter with 4 trunks.  The largest single trunk tree is also an Ash, with a 55" diameter. READ MORE...


Community Garden Workday: Fruit Trees!

On 2/9/13,  volunteers helped with final prep in the orchard for our new fruit trees that arrived on 2/23.  An auger was rented to dig the holes for the apple, pear and paw paw trees.  We then amended the soil with compost we produced on site.

Orchard plan map and diagram (click images to see enlarged).

Thanks go out to the group of Holy Innocents and North Atlanta High School students who came to fulfill their community service requirement for school.   They were a big help prepping the fruit orchard,  replacing signage at our information kiosk and weeding and spreading pine straw in our flower and blueberry beds.

Also a big thanks to Molly Harrington who organized the group and hopes to come out again at future workdays.  Thanks Molly!


Bring your Smart Phone to the Preserve - Learn About Trees!

 .....  .....

We have brand new digital signage thanks to Liam Knippenberg, who recently completed his Eagle Scout Project at the Preserve. These new QR Code signs work with a smart phone, to deliver detailed information about trees within the Preserve. It is necessary to download a free app for QR codes on your smart phone, then hold your phone over the posted codes for scanning to receive the information. The information is linked to the Trees section of our website which provides the desired information.

As parks and nature preserves struggle for cost effective ways to disseminate information to the public, QR Codes may be the wave of the future.


"The Blue Heron has entered, if not created, the next wave of Nature Preserve communication. Always be looking for ways to stay at the edge of what is new and interesting. A QR code does look out of place in a nature preserve. Itís supposed to. It attracts attention, brings in visitors, and raises questions. It is an honor to have been a part of that."

Liam Knippenberg
January 20, 2013


What is a QR Code?

A QR code is a two dimensional barcode (6).  It was originally created because it has the ability to be decoded at a high speed; QR stands for Quick Response (6).  The code originated in Japan then spread to the Middle East and Europe then worldwide because of its popularity and multitude of uses (6).  A QR code can encode all kinds of data, but it is mainly used to store a URL, MP3, telephone number, or email address (6).  The ability to encode a URL, which we have done, is the main aspect that has made QR codes a very popular advertising technique (6).  It works by using a smart phone, with barcode-reader application, to read the three large boxes in the corners and the space between and size of the boxes (6).  Since it only uses the boxes in the corners, it allows us to put the logo in the middle and change the color of the boxes; the ability to change the artistic appearance of the code has also made it more popular (6).  QR codes are a quick, easy, and artistic way to provide guests with a large amount of information with the help of a smart phone.

(6) "About QR Codes." Mobile-Barcodes. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr 2012.