You may have noticed the structures on the hill across from Two Urban Licks on the Eastside Trail. These structures, called fascines, are part of the effort to reduce erosion and preserve the plantings on the hill. Made of natural materials, the fascines help catch sediment and organic debris, gradually building a layer of soil on the slope.
Trees Atlanta facilitated the installation of the fascines, which look as though they could be naturalistic pieces of art, adding to the beauty of the hill and the Eastside Trail.
The erosion control will help to preserve the plantings on the hill, which are taking place in two phases. On the west side, Trees Atlanta volunteers have planted native trees and shrubs, which include arrowwood viburnum, sparkleberry, American beech, sourwood, and Piedmont azalea. The second stage will involve plantings on the front of the hill, in the areas protected by the fascines. These plantings will include mayberry (a type of native blueberry), black eyed susans, and dwarf winged sumac. The particular species chosen will, once they take root, help to stabilize the hillside, slowing further erosion. The fascines, made out of organic materials, are meant to break down naturally after a year or so, leaving the plantings and the native grasses to take over and colonize the hill.
Climbing the hill is discouraged as it promotes further erosion and disturbs the plantings. In just the few years that the Eastside Trail has been open and accessible, the hill has eroded significantly. Makeshift swings that occasionally appear on the trees atop the hill may seem harmless, but serve to encourage climbing, causing more erosion and posing a safety hazard.
Because of the work of Trees Atlanta and volunteers, the hill will eventually regain some of its natural character and provide a home for native plants and grasses that are important for the area’s wildlife and provide an aesthetic value to users of the Eastside Trail.
Find out more about Tress Atlanta programs at treesatlanta.org.