Lullwater Conservation Garden & Bird Sanctuary Restoration Project
The Lullwater Garden Club would like to thank the Georgia Native Plant Society for accepting the Lullwater Conservation Garden and Bird Sanctuary as your newest restoration project. The garden, which has always been open to the public, consists of a 6.5-acre parcel of land in the center of the Historic Druid Hills neighborhood in Atlanta designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the father American landscape architecture. The Lullwater Garden Club has maintained the garden since 1931 and owned it outright since 1967 when we purchased it from Emory University. It consists of a wooded stretch of park with Lullwater Creek running through it and is part of the Peavine Creek watershed.
Currently, most of the park shows the effects of an exotic species invasion. With the exception of Kudzu, we have just about every invasive species you can imagine. Rather than neglect, the misguided notion in the 1970s of “letting it go back to nature” has brought the garden to its current state. Instead of letting it go, our mission now is to bring it back to a natural state. We have already succeeded in clearing a half-acre of the park from the plethora of invasive species that have taken over. With the help of a Georgia Garden Club “Let’s Go Native” grant we have installed a native garden, designed by GNPS’s own Theresa Schrum, demonstrating the use of native species in the landscape.
Recently we further cleared a large area of Privet and Mahonia. Although English Ivy and Liriope still blanket the terrain, we have seen the reemergence of many Toadshade Trillium, vast swaths of Mayapple, some Bloodroot and even a Great White Trillium. Since this parcel of land has never been developed, you also can find many old- growth trees, including an award-winning Tulip Poplar, some of the largest Ironwood you can imagine and countless Carolina Silverbells.
Since opening up the new native garden, the garden club has seen a marked increase in people strolling through the park and children exploring the creek. In fact, it is becoming the kind of place that Frederick Law Olmstead intended—a refuge from the stresses of urban life. Ask anyone in the Garden Club and they will tell you that they dream of the day when the entire park looks as inviting as the native garden. Now with your help, we have taken a step closer to achieving that goal.
We invite you to come see the garden and to join us in our bi-monthly clean-ups and ivy pulls which will start up again in the Fall. The Lullwater Conservation Garden and Bird Sanctuary is located on Lullwater Road north off Ponce de Leon. We look forward to our collaboration with our fellow conservation-minded friends.
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