Kathryn Kolb Celebrates Our "City in the Forest"

Kathryn Kolb, a Master Naturalist, fine art nature photographer, and director of EcoAddendum, spoke to Atlanta West End Rotarians on September 13 about our unique "City in a Forest." Kathryn dazzled the club in a quiet way with facts and other realities about the environment that challenged all members and resulted in a barrage of questions. Kathryn astounded us by stating that Atlanta and the southeast United States are home to one of the oldest continuously forested places on earth. She presented aerial photos of major American cities all of which had their street grids readily visible EXCEPT Atlanta, which showed comparatively few streets, indicating that the canopy cover is a real treasure requiring care and feeding, literally. She said the steep slopes, rocky places and streams inspire ‘relic trees’, such as the White Oak trees, which live 500-800 years. Many live in our oldest neighborhoods. Her organization has as a mission to reconnect people with the natural world. She wants greater awareness, which she said will encourage people to understand the linkage between caring for and restoring trees and plants that then bodes well for their fellow human inhabitants. She wants Georgians to know firsthand the vast diversity of native plant and flora species and their roles in making life-sustaining systems work. It is by no means an ‘us-them’ world … rather the environment benefits us in significant ways but we must care for it. To that end ECO-A offers tours called Walk About Down Yonder so that in a few hours on-the-ground participants can experience how people daily benefit from the ecosystem and therefore the need to own responsibility for it. She said the Cherry Bark Oak at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a hospice that receives charitable support from our club, is likely Atlanta’s largest measured tree and is 277 years old. A key to tree longevity lies in their slow growth capacity. Kathryn said Frazer Forest, part of the campus of the Frazer Center which is led by President Paige, is home to the some of Atlanta’s oldest trees and some of its largest, such as the champion twin tulip poplar on the property.

Kathryn Kolb leading a forest walk at Frazer Center in Atlanta

Posted by Neil Shorthouse
September 13, 2019 2:00pm


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