Vote for your favorite decorated Native Tree!

Now is your chance to vote for your favorite decorated Native Tree during Blue Heron Nature Preserve's Festival of Native Trees.  Click below to cast your vote.


Tree #1 - The Children’s Garden Tree

This Flowering Dogwood tree works hard for so many people and animals! Children playing in the garden enjoy its shade in summer, the bright reds and oranges of its leaves in fall, and looking for birds on its branches in the winter and spring. Birds visit all year, looking for food from the tree and hanging from the branches in feeders. Insects can be seen crawling along the bark or visiting the flowers in early spring. Our decorations celebrate this hard working tree and its visitors, and we invite you to add a “thank you” card to its branches!

Designed by Blue Heron’s friends and neighbors

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Tree #2 - For the Birds

This little tree has many names: Amelanchier, Shadbush, Shadblow, Serviceberry, Juneberry, and more. No matter what the name though, this tree is a friend of birds! Our decorations celebrate the food this tree provides to birds like the Carolina Chickadee, Hermit Thrush, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Cardinal, and Eastern Phoebe. You can hear what each bird sounds like by scanning the QR code! Then listen for these birds as you walk the trails at Blue Heron to see more trees!

Designed by the Tirado-Zvonar family

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Tree #3 - Woodland Animals

Our tree shows all the wildlife a tree in Atlanta might support. We learned about the animals that live in our city and on our schoolyard every Wednesday this fall semester with educators from Blue Heron. We each made an animal from clay that we wanted to find in the woods. We know you might find snakes, birds, mice, owls, foxes, rabbits, beetles, and even salamanders living in the woods! We painted our animals realistically in some cases, or with fantastical color combinations from our imaginations in others. We hope you enjoy looking for our animals on the tree!

Designed by Bolton Academy Outdoor Explorers After School

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Tree #4 - A Present to the Wildlife

The Blue Heron Nature Preserve has brought me comfort and inspiration. I love to give back to the animals. My tree is decorated with an oversize gift, with a feeding platform inside. The platform contains birdseed, and will feed the animals of Blue Heron during the cold winter days. Be sure to look inside the gift and watch for wildlife visiting!

designed by Maria Ava Totino-Ramos


Tree #5 - A Child’s Whole World of Wonder

Trees give life to the land and the wildlife. Trees stabilize the soil. They also provide oxygen, shade and fruit for food. From trees we get materials for tools and shelter. They’re shelter for animals and people, construction timber, and fuel for cooking & heating. Some of us take these facts for granted. But in the eyes of a child, trees provide a Whole World of Wonder. We intend to bring and keep the child in us alive, to show the beauty of trees and to allow us to take the time for the trees to talk to us, and allow them to tell us their hidden secrets.

For this project we will create, build and install magical forest creatures, their shelters’ and beautiful designs found in a child’s imagination. Using a range of natural and recycled materials combined with other art media and a non-toxic finish shellac (if needed). The size of the pieces will range from 1 – 12 inches. The objects will be installed on the tree with branches, raffia, rope, floral wire, and tape if necessary.

Designed by Katterina and Michael Nangle, and the students of Vamos Chicos!


Tree #6 - The After School Tree

Children who join one of Blue Heron’s after school programs get to spend time outside, exploring in and learning from the world around us. 1st Grade children from La Amistad visit the Preserve every Tuesday to explore woodland, meadow, and riparian habitats and wonder at nature. Their clay animals bring to life the forest they played in this fall. Blue Heron educators and naturalists travel to Garden Hills Elementary and run an outdoor nature exploration after school on the school grounds. Children learn to value the nature they can find in their own backyard and at school, and created leaf ornaments for the tree at Blue Heron.

Designed by La Amistad After School and Garden Hills Elementary After School


Tree #7 - Our Volunteer Tree

Trees are important because they give more work for our volunteers to do! Just kidding. When leaves fall off the trees, they provide habitat for overwintering animals and insects like toads, snakes, turtles, bees, etc.

Rake leaves where you have to but leave some of your yard undisturbed as habitat for these critters.

We dedicate this tree to our hardworking volunteers, who help maintain the Preserve.

Designed by the Blue Heron Volunteers


Tree #8 - Duck!

No, seriously. Duck.

Designed by: Linda Reed

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Tree #9 - The Generous Paw paw tree

For our first Festival of Native Trees, the Blue Heron Staff chose the native Pawpaw tree to decorate. This amazing tree produces an edible fruit, the pawpaw, that tastes to some like a ripe banana. You might find pawpaw fruits for sale at a local Farmer’s Market. But it is also valuable to wildlife. The Pawpaw tree is the host plant of the Zebra Swallowtail butterfly. The butterfly lays its eggs on the leaves of the Pawpaw, and the leaves are the only source of food for the caterpillars that hatch from the eggs. Our tree decorations celebrate the life cycle of the Zebra Swallowtail from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, to butterfly on the Pawpaw. It also shows the flowers of the Pawpaw, which you can see on the Pawpaw trees at Blue Heron in the spring!

Designed by the Blue Heron Staff

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Tree #10 - Joe Dreher's Tree

Joe is a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design with a Master of Architecture Degree and the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Architecture Award, AIA Design Award and the Commitment to Sustainability Award.

Designed by Joe Dreher