Photo provided to Decaturish
By David McFarland, contributor
Decatur, GA — Supporters of the Glenn Creek Nature Preserve are preparing for a busy Fall.
The 2-acre Piedmont Forest, located at 104 Fairview Street, will host four Saturday volunteer dates in the upcoming months to do everything from tackling invasives to installing a fence for sheep.
Those dates are from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Oct. 14, Oct. 28, Nov. 18, and Dec. 2.
Neil Norton, founder of the Glenn Creek Nature Preserve, described a usual volunteer day.
“We typically mulch trails and remove invasives and need all hands on deck, so please join us,” Norton said. “On Oct. 14 we will be preparing for sheep starting on the 18th in the Nature Preserve. Be sure to visit the sheep and [see] the beautiful fall color.”
The Preserve has already completed one major project in September, creating a new entrance and fence thanks to the Decatur Makers. Norton is excited to keep the improvements coming, considering the importance of 2023 for the Nature Preserve.
“This year is our 20th anniversary,” Norton said. “We raised over $10K to help cover expenses like engaging sheep and creating a landscape plan for our entrance. Our volunteers have spent over 2,400 hours mulching, removing invasives, and making trails.”
It has been a long process to get the Nature Preserve to where it is today. Norton outlined Glenn Creek’s history.
“In 2004 the Nature Preserve was covered in English Ivy and Privet,” Norton said. “Over the years we have removed most of that. In the first year, we removed the Ivy from the trees, which was over 50 feet up in the crowns of the trees. The North side of the creek was inaccessible until one volunteer day back around 2007 when the Decatur High School Football team showed up, and we removed much of it.”
Sixteen years later, there’s still more work to do at the Nature Preserve. Norton summarized the organization’s goals.
“Short term, to keep our core group engaged and develop a 5-year plan,” Norton said. “Long term, we hope to have more land to store our equipment and stage events. We also are working towards stream bank restoration and slowing the volume of water during storms.”
All of that begins with volunteer work. According to Norton, what makes the Nature Preserve so special and worth donating time and energy for is its power to “connect nature and neighbors.”
“Take three hours to connect with the trees, neighbors, and earth,” Norton said. “It will put a smile on your face, create new friendships, and ground you to both your community and our planet.”
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