Emory Report
March 31, 2008
Volume 60, Number 25

Explore more
Beginning in April, as part of the University’s goal to make Emory a “Healthy Place to Work,” the Faculty Staff Assistance Program will offer five outdoor walking groups in Lullwater on Mondays
from 5:30 to 6 p.m.
Each walk is guided by a member of the FSAP team. For information: http://fsap-ts1.fsap.emory.edu/


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March 31, 2008
Lullwater’s happier trails


Descending the gently curving path into Lullwater Preserve, the sounds of Clifton Road fade away, replaced by the cackle of a Downey woodpecker swooping down for a closer look. The mind stops racing, the body relaxes, the external world recedes.

A popular loop around Candler Lake and along Peachtree Creek offers the community a healthy break that will become even more enjoyable through improvements to a 1.6-mile Lullwater trail.

A major goal of the trail enhancement, said project manager James Johnson, is to provide a soft surface recreational trail — composed of dirt, gravel and crushed granite — to create a more stable surface for joggers and walkers.

The eight-month project, currently under way, includes replacing the sidewalk on Starvine Way between the Clairmont/Lullwater entrance and the bridge with rubber sidewalks made from approximately 24,000 recycled tires, diverting 24 tons of tire waste from a community landfill.

A portion of the asphalt path that runs from the site of the old reflecting pool along the lake and down to the dam will be removed and replaced with crushed granite. In addition, a 200-foot boardwalk will be installed between the dam and along Peachtree Creek toward Starvine Way in order to clear a section that sometimes floods.

Concurrent with trail upgrades, and within the context of the Lullwater Comprehensive Management Plan, Campus Services will stabilize the existing erosion along the creek’s bank next to the trail.

“We’re replanting native vegetation along the stream bank, and moving the trail inland a bit to slow erosion. Invasive plants such as privet and English Ivy, which tend to grow without restraint and crowd other plants, will be removed along the south side of the creek to open up the view,” said Johnson.

Learning to really see Lullwater is a skill that environmental studies senior lecturer and chief environmental officer John Wegner helps students, staff and faculty to develop through ecological-focused explorations of the preserve.

On recent rambles, a basking painted turtle sat on a rock and stretched his neck up to the sun, as a great blue heron stood in the shallows nearby, ever on watch for a quick snack.

The pale gold beech tree leaves and dark green southern magnolia leaves add the only color to the slopes, but the emerald green stalks and rose-color leaves of the “hearts a bustin” are clearly awakening to the warm early spring.

There are signs of Lullwater’s residents everywhere, from the beaver slide marks on stream banks, to the delicate hoof print of a deer captured in the marshland moss, and the screech of crows warning forest inhabitants of the presence of a red-shouldered hawk.

So put away the iPod, turn off the cell phone, and use all senses to discover why, as Wegner notes, “there’s a difference between walking through Lullwater and walking in Lullwater.”