A section of PATH400 has been designated an Atlanta Audubon Certified Wildlife Habitat as part of a collaborative effort between the Atlanta Audubon Society, Livable Buckhead and the North Buckhead Home and Garden Club.

The Atlanta Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Program certifies properties that enhance their land for birds and other wildlife by installing native plants and providing food, water and shelter for birds and other wildlife, according to a press release.

The certified section runs between Lenox Road and Old Ivy Road. It was the first completed segment of the multi-use trail and runs directly alongside Ga. 400.

“Although the trail is immediately adjacent to a major highway, many portions of it feel as if you’re in the middle of the woods. Preserving that natural habitat has always been an important part of the PATH400 design, and we hope that future segments of the trail will be able to earn this certification from Atlanta Audubon as well,” said Denise Starling, the executive director of Livable Buckhead, which is spearheading PATH400, in the release.

To gain certification, invasive plants, including privet and English ivy, were removed from the area. Several native plants were added to the landscape to provide sources of food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, according to the release.

Some of the birds and wildlife species observed along the certified portion of the trail include American Goldfinches, Carolina Wrens, Northern mockingbirds, Brown Thrashers, White-breasted Nuthatches, Yellow-rumped Warblers and a variety of wildlife species including squirrels, deer, raccoons and opossum, the release said.

The Atlanta Audubon Society, which is located in Buckhead at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, has certified more than 450 properties in Atlanta and north Georgia, the release said.

“Atlanta Audubon Society’s goal is to create a network of certified wildlife sanctuaries throughout metro-Atlanta to counter the loss of wildlife habitat to urbanization and to provide additional habitat for the hundreds of birds and other species,” the press release said.

The organization also runs the “Lights Out Atlanta” program that encourages building owners and residential homeowners to turn off or reduce lighting during the peak bird migration periods to reduce the amount of birds that die from colliding into buildings.

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