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Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

Atlanta Botanical Garden walkway construction to resume

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An image of the "Canopy Walk" planned for Storza Woods. Courtesy Jova, Daniels, Busby and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Ten months after a deadly walkway collapse at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, construction of the 600-foot Canopy Walk is set to resume in October.

The “treewalk” is a winding, 40-foot high walkway designed to take visitors on a canopy-level walk through the Garden’s Storza Woods. It’s set to open in May, 2010. It’s part of a $55 million Green Expansion that has already opened a new visitor center, green roof, parking facility, pedestrian path and additional garden. An edible garden and “cascade” garden are to open in 2010, along with the walkway.

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The walkway after the collapse on Dec. 19, 2008. AJC file photo

The walkway is touted by Mary Pat Matheson, the Garden’s executive director, as a “must-see destination for both gardeners and those who simply want to experience nature in the middle of the city.” The project has been on hold since last year, when the …

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Game on at most Atlanta parks after sports field rain outs

Anybody showing up to an Atlanta park for  peewee football or a pickup game in the last few days probably arrived to soft ground and the disappointing news that city athletic fields were closed.


Most of Atlanta's athletic fields, like this one at Piedmont Park, are open after closing down because of rain. AJC file photo

On Sept. 22, the city closed all of them after days of heavy rain. Once a field is wet, a simple game of softball can turn it into a mud pit, and once the ground is damaged, fixing it is a long, difficult process.

Special events like PUMA’s “Can I Kick It?” one-day kickball tournament at Central Park were postponed, along with any regularly scheduled outdoor fun.

But there’s good news: as of yesterday, the citywide ban on using athletic fields was lifted. However, fields in Coan Park in Edgewood, Shady Valley Park in Buckhead and South Bend Park around Lakewood Park and Swallow Circle/Baywood are still unusable.

Sharon Davis, the public information officer for

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Trading up at Chattahoochee Nature Center’s new Exchange

This story ran in the Living section on Sept. 16, 2009. I also wrote the watershed exhibit in the new Discovery Center in Access Points a few weeks ago.


Chattahoochee Nature Center's new Discovery Center opened this summer and includes exhibits about the watershed and a Nature Exchange. AJC file photo

Emory Halford spotted it first — a brown, fuzzy object, out of the ordinary among the rocks and dirt along the creek where they were camping. He leaned in closer and called his parents to investigate. It was a bat, deceased, but still of great value to a 7-year-old boy.


One of Emory Halford's projects at The Nature Exchange. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

“A lot of moms would not be taking that bat home,” said Mendy Halford, of Atlanta. “But we found a shovel, put it in a Ziploc bag. He had to take it to the Nature Exchange. How can you say, ‘No?’ ”

The Nature Exchange is a new program in the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s new Discovery Center, which opened in June. Amateur …

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What to know before you go: Red Bull Soapbox Race

Red Bull soapbox race in Turkey. Quite a crowd! Photo courtesy of Red Bull.

The Red Bull Soapbox Race will take over Piedmont Park on Saturday, and organizers are expecting a crowd not unlike that for Paul McCartney — about 50,000 people.

Of course, this crowd gets in free. (Free!) Not that Sir Paul didn’t haul a big production into town, but he didn’t need space to race 50 gravity-powered vehicles, either.

Here’s what you need to know before the show gets on the road on Aug. 29.

Rain? What rain?
At last year’s race in Philadelphia, a hurricane remnant came through — poured rain, but skipped the lightning or tornadoes. The race went on. The same rules apply here. As of Friday morning, Saturday’s forecast calls for lows in the 60s, highs in the mid-80s and showers likely in the afternoon.

What to bring, what not to bring.
On the list of no-nos: pets, tents, glass containers, food to be sold, alcoholic beverages, weapons. But, you can bring your own food and drinks, or buy …

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Access Points: Chattahoochee Nature Center watershed exhibit

Lots of creative guesses on this week’s Access Point, but just a few of you knew it was a fish in the watershed exhibit at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s new Discovery Center.

Scales on this fish are made from old CDs. AJC/ Jamie Gumbrecht.

Indeed, many recognized the fishy qualities of the photo, but you seemed convinced that it was the giant creature outside the Atlanta Fish Market. Others saw the CDs, and guessed everything from Hard Rock Cafe to AOL headquarters.

But it was commenter PJ who first mentioned the place — the new Discovery Center at the Chattahoochee Nature Center — and Smokey the Bandit who said it was the giant fish located there. Nice work!

This fellow isn’t just a fish, but a largemouth bass. If you’ve been fishing in Lake Lanier, you’ve caught one. He is one of about 13 animals made from repurposed household goods and on display in the new Discovery Center watershed exhibit.

Rope snake. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

Plenty of nature centers rely on taxidermy …

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