Nov 16, 2022 - News

Atlanta preps purchase of 180-acre forest

Three people walk near a small creek surrounded by tall lush green trees

Photo: Courtesy of Stacy Funderburke

The city will soon be the new owner of more than 180 acres of untouched forest in southwest Atlanta, the latest purchase aimed at preserving the city's tree canopy before it's gone.

Why it matters: Often taken for granted, Atlanta's thick tree canopy is one of the city's defining features and an important tool in limiting the effects of climate change.

  • It's also endangered as development gobbles up the dwindling number of large forests inside the city limits.

Details: The property — it doesn't have a name yet — abuts the Piedmont Driving Club's golf course off Camp Creek Parkway and is home to high-quality hardwoods, pines and larger trees.

  • Earlier this year, the Conservation Fund bought the property with plans to later sell the land to the city, Stacy Funderburke, the nonprofit’s Alabama and Georgia associate director, told Axios.

By the numbers: Atlanta's tree canopy covers roughly 47% of the city's total area — shy of a goal of at least 50%, according to a 2018 study.

What they're saying: "The truth is that development pressure in the city continues to grow," says Funderburke. "It's a Humpty Dumpty thing. Once that forest gets broken down and sold off you will never put it back together again."

What's next: The nonprofit expects to transfer the land, which is still private property, to the city by the end of the year.

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