For Earth Day, I took my kids to Constitution Lakes, a Nature Preserve in south Dekalb County (and home to the Doll’s Head Trail).
As a Nature Preserve, there is not a ton of park infrastructure or amenities. But what is special is the location and history of Constitution Lakes.
The Preserve is in the middle of one of Atlanta’s Heavy Industry areas. Surrounding the preserve are old factories roped off by the EPA, giant trucking terminals, asphalt plants, city landfills, and Interstates. It lies in Hartsfield-Jackson’s flight path with all the noise and pollution.
The area itself was heavily mined for clay and hosted a brick factories over the years. The lake is actually the giant pit left from the mine. For years, the site saw tons of illegal dumping.
DeKalb County has not invested in the area other than setting it aside, encouraging volunteers, and providing a modicum of police protection.
And nature is healing itself. Just out of frame are herons, snakes, fish, hawks, songbirds, and even a few amphibians. The trees are young and infested with invasive privet, but the wetlands and roots are slowly cleansing the soil.
We Americans forget just how disgusting and polluted our country was only 40 years ago. We still pollute, and we’ve shifted a lot of damage to more insidious forms but I hope that we’re making progress – even if that means simply standing still.