Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum

Take a journey through Atlanta’s living past, present, and future.

 

Arboretum (n):  A botanical garden focused on trees, which are grown for research, education, and display.

Background

Trees Atlanta currently manages 82 linear acres of greenspace along 7 miles known as the Eastside Trail, Eastside Trail Extension, and the Westside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. This acreage is composed of roughly 45 acres of planted space and the remaining 37 acreage is natural areas undergoing restoration management. This managed greenspace on the Atlanta BeltLine is actively referred to and known as the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum. As the trail is developed, the Arboretum will expand with new trees to be planted and subsequently accessioned into the Arboretum’s collections.

The Atlanta Beltline Arboretum currently has over 4,000 accessioned plants in its collection, with 351 unique tree and woody shrub species and cultivars, and 90 genera represented that are identified with permanent signage. Additionally, over 500,000 non-accessioned live plants have been planted within the Arboretum since 2013, primarily native grasses and wildflowers and 1,590 pounds of native seed distributed.

Overview

The Atlanta BeltLine is one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs in the United States. It is a sustainable redevelopment project that connects a network of public parks, multi-use trails, and light-rail transit along a main paved trail artery that reuses a historic 22-mile railroad corridor. The system circles downtown Atlanta and connects 45 neighborhoods directly to each other, which successfully incentives pedestrian movement over vehicular as Atlantans live, work, and play. With 1.8 million trail users in 2019, the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum provides an unprecedented opportunity to educate the public about ecological restoration, utilizing native plants, and how urban ecology can reconnect fragmented communities. The Arboretum serves as a component of Atlanta’s urban forest, acts as an ecological corridor, a place for education, citizen science, and scientific research, and a learning landscape.

Vision

In 2007, before any concrete went down, the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum concept was developed by Trees Atlanta in partnership with Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. The Arboretum enhances the trail corridor and serves as a free public garden open to all showcasing sustainable landscape management and demonstrating ecosystem restoration in an urban setting. Trees Atlanta envisions the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum as an equitable greenspace for all 45 Atlanta BeltLine adjacent neighborhoods and beyond, as a free public garden cherished and stewarded by Atlantans, as a learning landscape inspiring ecological change at home, and as a restored natural habitat providing invaluable environmental and social services.

Strategic Goals
  1. Create a distinctive sense of place with native and regionally-adapted plants of the bio-regions of Georgia, with special emphasis on the Piedmont.
  2. Activate the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum as a corridor for education and scientific research by Trees Atlanta and its partners.
  3. Demonstrate botanically diverse collections and sustainable landscape management practices.
  4. Restore the soil and environment of the former urban industrial railway corridor.
  5. Enhance neighborhoods, community parks, and greenspaces, by improving access to nature, quality of life, and health for all of metro Atlanta.
  6. Build a healthy urban ecosystem and connect wildlife corridors.

Explore the Atlanta Beltline Arboretum

Take a look at our interactive map to explore various parts of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum virtually!

Start Exploring

Education

 

Walking Tours

Walking Tours on the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum are guided strolls through the botanical and historical points of interest on the trail. Regularly scheduled tours are offered for the Eastside, Westside, Northeast, and Southside Trails. Each Trees Atlanta volunteer docent (tour guide) prepares their own unique talking points on native trees and plants, architectural interests, key historical stories, and more — so every tour offers different perspectives and color.

In addition to the Atlanta BeltLine, other Walking Tours are offered periodically in neighborhoods across the city that introduce you to the beautiful tree lined streets of Grant Park, Ansley Park, Piedmont Park, Inman Park, Virginia Highlands, and other Neighborhood Arboreta.

A Walking Tour takes approximately 90 minutes and is a leisurely stroll. Most of our tours start or end where you can enjoy a refreshment nearby or continue exploring the city on your own.  Tours are offered year-round(primarily on Fridays or Saturdays). Experience every season of the Atlanta Beltline Arboretum or our beautiful city by joining us on an upcoming Walking Tour. Scheduled tours are found on our Calendar.

 

Docent Training

Interested in becoming a Docent? Trees Atlanta Docents are Certified Volunteers who completed a broad training program about Trees Atlanta’s mission and work, history of the Atlanta BeltLine and surrounding neighborhoods, along with horticultural information on the trees, plants, and grasses of the Arboretum. More info: Docent Training Program.

 

Junior TreeKeeper Camp

Trees Atlanta’s very popular Summer Camp and School Break sessions take advantage of our expertise and location on the Atlanta BeltLine. Our environmental educators organize camp days so that children are outside, exploring, playing, and learning in the Arboretum. Camps are offered for students in Grades 1 – 6 for 7 weeks each summer and during scheduled school breaks (based on the APS school calendar). More info: Camp

Questions? Contact education@treesatlanta.org

Arboretum Observations

 

Help us keep track of a changing landscape! The entire Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum is a dynamic landscape actively being restored to forest and native grassland. Check out the community science observation stations below to see these landscapes grow and change through the years. By contributing to the process you are helping us to document changes and helping inform us of which methods work best. You can actively help us to monitor an ecological restoration!

Wildlife Camera Trap Project

 

The city is habitat for wildlife — among the buildings, roads, humans, and traffic. Animals find food and shelter in green areas with trees, plants, and water. Wildlife is an important part of our community and urban places are often teeming with activity that isn’t often seen by people. This video is a product of the Wildlife Camera Trap Project, a partnership with Trees Atlanta and Georgia Audubon.

Six cameras have been installed in various locations along the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum. Volunteers have adopted each one to help maintain them, move them around, and download images. Thanks to Georgia Audubon the massive volume of footage is reviewed and edited to produce this highlight video. Video highlights will be published for Fall 2020 and Winter, Spring, and Summer 2021.

 

The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum is an accredited botanical garden primarily dedicated to trees, woody plants, and native and notable perennial plants. Trees Atlanta is proud to partner with the Atlanta Beltline, Inc. in the design, installation, and maintenance of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum, as well as an education and community program partner.

Before construction of the corridor began,  Trees Atlanta and the Atlanta BeltLine developed a Concept Plan for the arboretum in 2007. Once installation is complete following the 22-miles mail corridor of the Atlanta BeltLine, the arboretum may earn the unique title of the world’s longest linear arboretum. In 2012, the first trees were planted on the Eastside Trail. In 2016, Trees Atlanta successfully applied for and the Arboretum was awarded Level II Accreditation from the ArbNet organization, an international program of arboreta managed by the Morton Arboretum.

The Atlanta Beltline

 

Source: Atlanta BeltLine