The Dunwoody Nature Center has put together a $50,000 grant to restore its meadow along Wildcat Creek through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Five Star Restoration grant program.
Executive Director Alan Mothner said the national foundation grant was for $19,702, but will be combined with matching funds and services from community partners to provide $50,000 to restore, re-grade and implement a tiered rain garden system for storm water collection.
The heavily used meadow is the site for the nature center’s concerts, Butterfly Festival and numerous field trips.
“The topography of the land,” Mothner said, “currently causes storm water to run down from the parking lot, through the meadow and into Wildcat Creek at the lowest point of the area.”
He said that brings with the erosion of the land and pollution of the creek, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River.
The linked system of rain gardens is aimed at re-directing water to retention areas where native plants, loam and river rock will absorb some of the water before passing any remnants onto the other rain garden areas.
Mothner said the Nature Center will develop programs to teach students and homeowners how to prevent erosion and create similar projects.
The matching funds and services in the grant total come from a wide array of community participants. The biggest is from Doosan Infracore, a Korean firm whose North American headquarters is in Dunwoody. Doosan is the parent company of Bobcat. The firm will provide $18,000 in time, equipment and labor.
It will provide excavators, Bobcats and 100 volunteers for a work day.
Also contributing volunteers or funds are Dunwoody High School, Boy Scout Troop 494 from Dunwoody Baptist Church, Hands on Atlanta, the Rotary Club of Dunwoody, the city’s Sustainability Commission, the Dunwoody Woman’s Club, Design Seven, Lowe Engineering and the DeKalb County Master Gardeners.
Mothner said the groundbreaking for the project is planned for the conclusion of the Butterfly Festival Aug.18, with completion expected near the end of September.