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MLK urban forest MLK urban forest

Photos courtesy National Park Service

Every January, the nation pauses to honor civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. In downtown Atlanta, more than 500,000 visitors descend annually on the national historic site that honors the man and his legacy. Part of the 30-acre complex is a 13-acre national park that includes a Visitors Center, a library, and the preservation district, which encompasses the historic residential area, Dr. King's birth home, and the original Ebenezer Baptist Church.

In addition to the structures on the property, the site is home to a beautiful rose garden and an urban forest that includes a variety of trees. As the trees have matured, however, some problems have been encountered with roots and water drainage grating along sidewalks. In addition, an inventory of tree species, ages and conditions has never been conducted.

The Georgia Forestry Commission is working on plans to assist park officials with the documentation and care of this notable urban forest. It will also contribute to the MLK Historic Site's education efforts on the urban forest and its many benefits, which are such an important feature of this park, downtown Atlanta and the entire state of Georgia.

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