Atlanta nature preserve becomes Audubon Certified Wildlife Sanctuary

Susan Rutherford, Esther Stokes and Joy Carter at a dedication ceremony for the McDaniel Branch Wetlands.
Susan Rutherford, Esther Stokes and Joy Carter at a dedication ceremony for the McDaniel Branch Wetlands.

A marshy nature preserve near where a stretch of the Atlanta Beltline’s southeast trail will eventually run was recently designated as an Atlanta Audubon Certified Wildlife Sanctuary.

The McDaniel Branch Wetlands received the designation from the Audubon Society program — which encourages private and public properties to design their land so that it provides food, water and shelter for birds and other wildlife — on Oct. 19.

The property recently underwent a stormwater project to alleviate flooding in surrounding neighborhoods, during which the city’s Department of Watershed Management installed many different kinds of plants in order to help hold the stream banks in place.

The land is tucked away near Arthur Langford Park, I-85, the Southeast Atlanta Library and residential areas. Atlanta Audubon board member Melinda Langston said the techniques used in the McDaniel Branch renovation will improve water quality and “create valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife,” a press release said.

Two other properties in the area, the Lionel Hampton-Beecher Hills and Herbert Greene Nature Preserves, are also working to complete the Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary certification process.

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