By Carlen Hultgren
With a focus on preserving greenspace in Atlanta, 5th District (which includes East Atlanta Village) Council member Natalyn Archibong introduced, and the city council passed, two ordinances.
The first measure, introduced by Council members Archibong and Carla Smith to protect Atlanta’s Tree Canopy, was a tree moratorium. It recognizes that trees provide numerous environmental and aesthetic benefits such as reduction of energy demand, cleaner air and water, storm water management, and habitat for pollinators and wildlife. Trees also make neighborhoods and urban areas more livable by providing aesthetic, social, and psychological benefits for residents.
This moratorium shall only be imposed for properties located within the following boundaries:
- Moreland Avenue to the west;
- Glenwood Avenue to the north;
- Custer Avenue to the south;
- Flat Shoals Avenue/Bouldercrest Drive to the East.
The second measure was an ordinance to purchase 6.2 acres of forested land located at 770 Shadowridge Drive, known in the neighborhood as Ormewood Forest. The approval of this $1.2 million acquisition reaffirms Councilmember Archibong’s belief that an effective method of protecting and maintaining Atlanta’s urban forest is to procure privately owned property that is already forested and preserve its afforestation in perpetuity. A major benefit of purchasing afforested property, in comparison to purchasing property and planting new trees, is that many trees on afforested property are mature, thus providing a benefit to the city’s tree canopy that would not be provided by a new tree for many years.
The parks and recreation department will maintain the property and make it available for public use.