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CASCADE SPRINGS
NATURE CONSERVANCY

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 About Us

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve features a 125-acre forested city park nestled in Atlanta’s Cascade Heights neighborhood. Inside this old-growth forest, you will find unique plants and animals, a waterfall, three artesian springs, and 250-million-year-old rocks. Humans have lived in and around Cascade Springs for over 10,000 years. From pre-Columbian engineering to 19th-century terrace farming to modern greenhouses, humans have impacted the land in many ways.

In the 1970s, a group of local residents, primarily women, formed a committee to protect land previously used as a nature resort from urbanization. In 1979 the local committee successfully had the City of Atlanta buy the land to create the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, land set aside for preserving natural resources, historic landscapes, open space, and providing visual aesthetics/buffering.

In 2017, a group of civic-minded community members got together to honor and sustain the vision of these founding members. Later, that group became the Friends of Cascade Springs Nature Preserve and is now CSNC (Cascade Springs Nature Conservancy).

CSNC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit all-volunteer local organization dedicated to protecting the heritage and natural resources of the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.  We hold regular meetings to plan and develop programs to promote conservation, education, visitor responsibility, and active community participation to achieve this mission.

CSNC is a new organization that was incorporated in 2019.  However, we have been at work since 2017, making an impact on the local community.  Here are some of our latest accomplishments:

  • In 2017, we worked with community and municipal leaders to design a shared-use path on Cascade Road to provide safe bicycle and pedestrian access to the preserve.
  • In 2018, we met with local stakeholders to identify the community’s critical needs and desired features for the preserve. Based on this valuable feedback, we authored a visioning document to describe community ideas for projects to improve the future state of the preserve.
  • In 2019, we began implementing the visioning plan. We planned, designed, funded, and constructed a $20k stream bank restoration project.  The result of this effort was the Springhouse Boardwalk, a 200 ft boardwalk providing safe ADA compliant pedestrian access to the iconic springhouse artifact in the preserve.
  • In 2019, we partnered with Georgia Audubon to plan and execute a 13-acre forest restoration project. The project was funded through a $25K grant and will result in the certification of the preserve as a wildlife sanctuary.
  • In 2020, we worked with philanthropic organizations and municipal leaders to fund a park improvement project valued at over $400k. This project is called the Cascade Springs Glade.  As our most ambitious project so far, we are promoting a green transportation initiative by engaging with the local community to design safe bicycle and pedestrian access to the preserve; a welcoming trailhead plaza; a modern, secure, and durable boardwalk, as well as comfortable sitting and gathering areas.
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Our Mission

Building on the legacy of the founders of The Preserve, the CSNC Green Communities Program advances practices that improve our community’s environmental quality, address climate change, and reduce the impact of urbanization on natural resources. Research efforts focus on projects that prioritize green/blue infrastructure (green spaces and waterways), green energy, and green transportation.  Our efforts promote positive change through, Education, Conservation, Visitor Responsibility, and Active Community Participation.

Education

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Conservation

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Visitor
Responsibility

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Active Community
Participation

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Friend’s Forum

What is the Friends Forum?  Well, it’s an in-house social media platform.  A members-only communication portal connecting a community who care about keeping The Preserve SAFE, HEALTHY, and CLEAN.  It’s a space where member share information and insights about The Preserve and The Green Communities Program.  In The Forum, members share ideas and news on ways to enhance the health and wellbeing of The Preserve and connected communities.  Members can plan events and give their opinions on positive lifestyle ideas.  OfCourse, climate change is an issue that that ranks high on the list for priorities.  And so, it should, since the planet is our home, and we must take care of it to survive.

A study of older urban dwellers found that living in close proximity to forest land is linked with strong, healthy functioning of a key part of the brain. This indicates that, compared with those who live in a mostly man-made environment, people who dwell on the border between city and forest may be better able to cope with stress.

“…From north Georgia to the Florida line, the Chattahoochee River watershed faces many threats to its chemical, physical and biological health and integrity, including:

  • Storm-water and wastewater pollution
  • Increased water consumption
  • Landscape changes that interrupt natural flow patterns
  • A changing climate

Although river health has improved in recent decades, more than 1,000 miles of waterways within the Chattahoochee watershed still do not meet water-quality standards. And that means potential health threats to people and wildlife that come in contact with it…”. quoted from CRK’ site

Our Latest Work

Cascade Road Trail blueprint graphic
THE CASCADE ROAD TRAIL
Green Transportation Initiative
Designed a multi-use trail
to access The Preserve
2017
Future conditions report (cropped)
THE CASCADE NATURE PRESERVE
Present and Future Conditions Report
2018
Wooden trail
THE SPRINGHOUSE BOARDWALK
Funded and built a $20k, 200ft boardwalk
2019
Cascade Springs Nature Preserve map
FOREST RESTORATION
Raised $25k to perform a 12 acre forest restoration
2018-2021
Chase Blackwell scouts
THE CHASE BLACKWELL
Eagle Scout Project
2021
Park entrance graphic
THE CASCADE GLADE PROJECT
Green Transportation Initiative
Raised funds for a park improvement
project valued in excess of $400k
2021-2022
THE AARON RICHARDSON
Eagle Scout Project
2021
HBCU donation
THE AKA – WAWA – CSNC
Watershed Restoration Project
2021-2022
CASCADE SPRINGS REFORESTATION
CSNC is partnering with Trees Atlanta
to rebalance green infrastructure
by planting trees in areas
damaged by invasive species
2021
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