Blue Heron Nature Preserve (BHNP) is a 30-acre haven for nature in the midst of urban north Atlanta. Located off busy Roswell Road, BHNP serves as a home for a variety of wildlife and native plant species, a green space for people to enjoy creek-side trails, and a center of education and research for all ages to learn more about the natural world that surrounds them.
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that manages the acreage and related programming in partnership with the City of Atlanta Parks Department. We host hundreds of visitors each year who come to participate in educational opportunities, including field trips, workshops, and summer camps; and for recreational pursuits including fitness, art, and community gardening.
Blue Heron Nature Preserve was founded in 2000, sparked by the efforts of a local school teacher, founding Executive Director Nancy Jones, and the North Buckhead Civic Association to preserve seven acres of floodplain from development. Over the next five years, the City of Atlanta added three large pieces of land to the Preserve: a nine-acre wetland at the end of Emma Lane (off Lakemoore Drive), and two separate five-acre parcels that adjoin the original floodplain. One of the latter parcels also included a 10,000 square-foot building that today houses BHNP operations, as well as and three other non-profit groups. A final land acquisition, four acres that adjoin the Emma wetlands, was completed in 2014.
Today, the Preserve comprises four distinct habitats: pond, meadow, wetland, and woodland. Blue Heron land and buildings are titled to the City of Atlanta, from which no financial support is received, with all green space covered by a restrictive deed covenant. The Preserved is managed solely by its staff and volunteers and governed by a 15-member Board of Directors.
To create a personal experience with nature, we:
- Engage and motivate people to experience native habitats in an urban environment
- Protect and preserve native habitats and their associated heritage
- Provide a living nature lab for education and research, and
- Advocate for the preservation and conservation of nature in urban communities
To be a haven for nature in an urban environment.
We welcome input from and partnership with diverse internal and external stakeholders.
We seek imaginative and sustainable approaches to the design of our facilities, the use of our land and the delivery of our programming.
We encourage interaction with nature through education, research and personal experience.
We are passionate caretakers of our natural, financial and human resources.
We are considerate of the delicate balance between preservation of and human engagement in nature.