Saturday, June 2, 2007

Hands On Atlanta TeamWorks! Project: William H. Reynolds Nature Preserve

I just got back from the first event for the current round of Hands On Atlanta TeamWorks!. If you're not familiar with the program, here is a short excerpt about the program that you can read in full by visiting the program web site.

Hands On Atlanta TeamWorks!

The TeamWorks! experience begins with a kick-off event where participants meet their team members and make project selections. Teams then participate in 3-4 volunteer projects over 2 months. At the end of the program, all the teams reassemble at a closing project where volunteers get a chance to share service experiences and brainstorm additional steps toward building a better community through service. Teams are encouraged to reflect upon and discuss the nature of their service together.

To find out about TeamWorks!, call 404-979-2846 or e-mail:

Today's event  consisted of helping remove some non-native invasive plants from the William H. Reynolds Nature Preserve in Clayton County in Forest Park. The main invader was the Elaeagnus plant. From it's entry on Wikipedia at, the plant is described as part of the Elaeagnaceae family with these characteristics:

Elaeagnaceae, the oleaster family, is a plant family of the order Rosales comprising small trees and shrubs, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, south into tropical Asia and Australia. The family has 45-50 species in three genera.

They are commonly thorny, with simple leaves often coated with tiny scales or hairs. Most of the species are xerophytes (found in dry habitats); several are also halophytes, tolerating high levels of soil salinity.

They definitely were thorny! At one point a big stretch of thorns on one if its shoots smacked me across the forehead. No damage thankfully.

I will definitely have to go back to the preserve sometime just to enjoy the area. Here is more information about the history of the preserve. You can read more about it on the preserve's web site.

In 1976 Judge William "Bill" Huie Reynolds donated 130 acres of wetlands and woodlands to Clayton County. His desire to preserve a spot of beauty and serenity for the enjoyment of both man and wildlife was realized in the founding of the nature preserve named in his honor. His gift was not only the land but his example of stewardship and his brotherhood with nature.

Here are just a few of the of animals you can see by visiting the trails. Learn more at this link.

turtle pictures

Blue JayKentucky WarblerWood Thrush


Cardinal FlowerRed Trillium - "Toadshade"American Beauty Berry

One of the volunteers there today was not with Hands On Atlanta. He actually lived right next to the preserve. It was funny when we were walking to the work area and I asked him where he lived after he had asked me. He pointed to the right and said, "I live there."

He told me he studied Horticulture and Landscaping in college.

Here is where the preserve is located in relation to downtown Atlanta.


No comments: