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A bipartisan bill would ban future mining around Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp
The Okefenokee Swamp, the largest blackwater swamp in North America and one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders, is a rare ecological treasure. Home to thousands of native plants and animals—including at least 15,000 alligators—it also supports a thriving tourist economy in Southeast Georgia, employing over 700 people and bringing in $64.7 million of revenue a year. But the Okefenokee’s delicate ecology is frequently threatened by mining interests: an ancient sand dune that borders the swamp is full of valuable heavy minerals, buy hydrology experts say extracting them would cause significant water loss in the Okefenokee, leading to more frequent drought and fires.
Why I’m enraptured with Atlanta’s raptors
After 15 years of living beneath Atlanta’s storied tree canopy, the city’s birds of prey still get me every single time. It’s a feeling that goes a bit deeper than sheer novelty, or even fondness. Seeing an owl silently swooping past street lights and power lines, or spotting a hawk circling above the highway, feels extraordinary, almost fake—a welcome visual record scratch ripping across the mundanity of cityscape.
In 1867, a naturalist walked 1,000 miles to the Gulf. 150 years later, a former AJC reporter retraced the path by car. How their journeys intersect.
In 1867, naturalist John Muir embarked on a 1,000-mile “botanical journey” across the South, walking from Kentucky to Florida. Five years ago, former Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Dan Chapman decided to retrace his route, albeit in a car: In the century and a half since Muir’s trek, his path has been chopped up by interstates and highways—“not a lot of fun hiking terrain,” Chapman says.
The intown hiker: Jonah McDonald on appreciating the beauty that is right in front of us
"I discovered that Atlanta had all of these hidden forests and pockets of nature—over 90 hidden forests that were all a short drive from my house. I started compiling them into a book, Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests: Intown and Out."
One of Atlanta’s largest remaining forests has been saved. Now what?
The forgotten forest long known as Lake Charlotte Nature Preserve stands to become one of Atlanta’s largest public parks, an archaeological treasure trove, and a model for urban forestland preservation.
The best dog-friendly hiking trails in Atlanta
From easy, low-impact walks to hikes with mountain views to a dog beach, here's where you and your best furry friend can both get some exercise and fresh air.
Your guide to 16 great Georgia state parks
When you feel the pull of the outdoors, don’t overlook the obvious choice: Georgia’s 63 state parks and historic sites cover incredibly diverse terrain, from North America’s largest blackwater swamp to one of the world’s great mountain ranges. Here are a few of our favorite places to explore, especially when the leaves start to turn.
Love porgs? Meet their real-life puffin cousins at the Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium's new puffin exhibit is a perfect opportunity to teach your Star Wars-obsessed youngster about the real-life porg.
Neighborhood gem: Blue Heron Nature Preserve
This greenspace—which considers itself a “haven for nature in an urban environment”—dates back to the 1800s, when North Buckhead was home to the Creek Indians.
Atlanta Botanical Garden exhibits a whimsical side with new Curious Garden installation
The exhibition’s most prominent installation is a forest of salvaged, bare trees spray-painted in colors usually reserved for ice cream: vivid orange and pastel yellows, pinks, blues.