For the first time, the city of Atlanta will use funds from the tree ordinance to purchase the property from the Conservation Fund, said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The ordinance, which charges fees for cutting down trees, was amended several years ago to allow the city to use the money to purchase mature forests in addition to planting new trees.
Once the purchase is complete this summer, the Department of Parks and Recreation will work to allow public access to the preserve, including nature trails. The department will also assume responsibility for management and maintenance of the property.
“The Lake Charlotte Nature Preserve acquisition is a signature priority in City Design’s Urban Ecology Framework, demonstrating how we can design a City that protects its most critical natural areas, preserves tree canopy, watersheds and natural habitats, while also creating one of the best areas for Atlanta residents to access nature and new recreational opportunities inside the City,” said Planning Commissioner Tim Keane in a statement.
The name, Lake Charlotte Nature Preserve, is a historical reference to the lake, trails and homes that populated the area many years ago, said a spokeswoman for the Conservation Fund. It had been owned by Waste Management since 1989 and has not been open to the public.