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Seeing the Trees for the Forest

By Bill Gould

On an early spring Sunday morning, a passionate collective of neighbors joined with Save Ormewood Forest and the EAV Canopy Krewe for a tree rescue event in East Atlanta’s future Ormewood Forest conservation area.

Under the guidance of resident ecologist and East Atlanta Community Association (EACA) Public Spaces Co-Chair Alex Levy, the groups removed non-native invasive vines from over 200 trees along a protected stream buffer. 

Concerted efforts to save the forested property have spanned well over a decade, although no action of note has been made to save the trees themselves. The City of Atlanta is currently proceeding towards the purchase of approximately half of the property, a three-acre parcel running the entire length of the protected stream corridor. The remaining three acres will be retained by the current owners for a proposed eleven-home subdivision.

Though the green space acquisition, long supported by the community and championed by Councilmember Natalyn Archibong, is expected to close within the next 30-45 days, concerned advocates felt the trees could not wait for relief. With the surge of invasive spring growth already underway, the Canopy Krewe rescue team also sprang into action to stop further damage and loss to the existing tree canopy.

As community residents and representatives now wait the opportunity to build a successful new partnership with city agencies for the restoration and long-term stewardship of the forest, the first order of business might be a celebration.  The city’s purchase of the property will mark the first new designation of a protected natural forest area within historic East Atlanta boundaries since the establishment of Brownwood Park in 1922.  Walking along the collapsing sidewalk of the property’s Ormewood Avenue border, the celebration can already be heard among the forest’s many barred owls.

Those interested in supporting Ormewood Forest and participating in future restoration efforts can contact the group at

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