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The Atlanta BeltLine
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Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum
Atlanta’s Tree-Mendous Arboretum
When fully realized, the Atlanta BeltLine will be an unprecedented 22-mile “arboretum” — an elaborately curated, city-scale mix of existing and cultivated tree species that is at once an urban forest, an ecological connector, a corridor for scientific research, and a collection of remarkable public spaces. The landscape design utilizes a framework of four layers: landform, floor and guideway, trail and transit, and canopy. The cumulative experience provides a plant-based cultural narrative of the city’s rich and diverse history.
The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum will be a large-scale reforestation of the corridor, with a focus on education. Trees Atlanta is building the 22-mile arboretum. The corridor is divided into five segments that are informed by ecological and cultural conditions:
- Creek Restoration
- Urban Forest Rehabilitation
- Piedmont Upland Forest Rehabilitation
- Neighborhood Woodland Rehabilitation
- Industrial Reclamation
Different strategies for reforestation will be applied depending on the conditions and surroundings of the corridor. Distinct plant palettes will create coherent experiences for each segment. With this effort realized, the arboretum will enable Atlanta to fulfill the name of “City of Trees.”
Ten Acres of Nature
To date, Trees Atlanta has planted ten acres of native grass and wildflower prairie along the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail. The initial planting included more than 109,000 individual plants and 43 different species of grasses and wildflowers. An expansion of the arboretum on the Westside Trail, currently under construction, will blend with hundreds of large, native trees and integrate more than 30 acres of inviting and usable new green space.
Education for All Ages
Part of the restoration of native species relies on the removal of invasive species. You can be part of the effort by signing up as part of Trees Atlanta’s Weeds & Wine program. These seasonal volunteers work with our Forest Restoration team to remove invasives (weeds) among the arboretum trees, native plants, and grasses. For Junior TreeKeepers, every day is a new adventure! First-through-sixth-graders can explore the outdoors with hands-on activities in environmental science, biking the Atlanta BeltLine, field trips to local attractions and more! High school and college students can also apply to be part of the Youth Tree Team, working to maintain the trees and plants along the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum. The Team also participates in leadership and teambuilding activities, receives job skills training, learns financial management skills, and networks with green collar professionals.
Arboretum Art — 33 Oaks
Thanks to Trees Atlanta, the Eastside Trail has a new art installation that pays homage to the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum program. The installation, “33 Oaks,” is a collection of stainless steel leaf sculptures representing 33 species of oaks native to Georgia. These art pieces are not only nice to look at; they also serve as an educational tool for the public’s understanding of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum.
The sculptures were created by artist David Landis. Installation was commissioned by our friends at Trees Atlanta and will be a part of the continuing exhibition on the Atlanta BeltLine.