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Support FPC on Georgia Gives Day!

Freedom Park Conservancy is participating in Georgia Gives Day on December 3rd – and we need YOUR help to make tangible improvements to Freedom Park!

Your support will help FPC:

– Hold eight volunteer workdays in the park to remove invasive plants, mulch trees, and address erosion issues
– Add at least two small native pollinator gardens
– Identify and preserve snags for woodpecker habitat
-Support amazing events in the park.

And more!

Help us raise $5,000
by midnight
December 3rd!

Click here to visit our Georgia Gives Day page and make your tax-deductible contribution.


Click to view larger map

Dwelling is a temporary, site-specific art installation in Freedom Park at N. Highland Avenue and Carmel Avenue, on view to the public for the month of March during park hours. Visitors are encouraged to use their smart phones to visit during their visit to enhance their experience.

There is no charge to experience Dwelling.

If you enjoy the project, you can make a donation by clicking here.

Share your photos using #DwellingFPC!

Our Supporters

Dwelling would not be possible without:

Alice Franklin and Dennis Hawk
Emory Center for Digital Scholarship

Dwelling Project Team:
Creative Directors: Nancy Boyd, Victoria Walsh
Artists: Mark Wentzel, Robert Henry
Writer: Michael Ross
Dwelling Graphic Artist: Anna Ladson, Gensler
Location Map Graphic Artist: Emma Ming Kayhart
Printer: Tower Press
City of Atlanta, Parks: Doug Voss, Daniel Calvert, Bretta Hunnicut, and crew

Special thanks to:
Emory University
Emory Center of Digital Scholarship (ECDS)
Wayne H. Morse Jr., Co-Director ECDS
Michael Page, Geographer, Geospatial Specialist
Randy Gue, Curator,  Modern Political and Historical Collections, Rose Library
Kim Collins, Art History/Classics Librarian and Research Engagement Services,
Robert W. Woodruff Library
Joanna Mundy, Digital Project Specialist
Anandi Knuppel, Senior Digital Scholarship Specialist
Melanie Kowalski, Copyright and Scholarly Communications Librarian,
Robert W. Woodruff Library
Edith Kelman
Kelsey Fritz
Pamela Henman
Phoenix Flies
Park Pride


If you are interested in supporting Freedom Park Conservancy, please click here.

About Dwelling

Dwelling was born from a seed of curiosity about the architectural remnants in Freedom Park. Abandoned stoops, foundations, and sidewalks invited us to reflect on the history of the park. These physical remains witnessed the condemnation of buildings, the seizure of property through eminent domain, and the demolition of over 600 structures to build the major freeways.

Using this palimpsest for orientation, Michael Page, a geospatial scientist with the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, and artists Mark Wentzel and Robert Henry, reimagined a selection of the homes foundational footprints using low-VOC athletic field paint. Throughout the installation it will be documented by drone photography, capturing the changing image over time as grass grows and lines become worn.

A digital interface, by way of a web based app called Open Tour Builder developed by Emory’s Center for Digital Scholarship, provides the framework for delivery of historic content through visitors’ mobile devices, uniquely expanding the user experience at each of the 5 stops within the installation. Dwelling will explore the personal stories within the context of a larger, complex narrative of civic activism, political maneuvering, and urban planning. By redrawing demolished buildings in situ, we are recognizing their historic and cultural significance in the formation of Freedom Park and the City of Atlanta.

Dwelling will offer fresh narratives that bridge the past, present, and future of Freedom Park and the City of Atlanta in a moment of new planning and development, intending to open dialogue among a diverse audience.

–Laura Hennighausen, Nancy Boyd, and Victoria Walsh



An exploration of lost landscapes, a site specific art installation with a digital interface that adds to a layered understanding of Freedom Park.

Dwelling starts as a line drawing and leads us to an exploration of Atlanta’s lost landscapes. Abandoned stoops, broken sidewalks, historic markers, trails, and Freedom Park’s natural features unfold and invite you to dwell on the history of this place and engage with the site through your own imagination.

Dwelling is a temporary, site-specific art installation in Freedom Park at N. Highland Avenue and Carmel Avenue, on view to the public for the month of March during park hours. Visitors are encouraged to use their smart phones to visit during their visit to enhance their experience.


Click for directions.

Click for more information about Dwelling.

Click to see our supporters.

Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden: Wildlife Sanctuary

By Jessi Noreault

At 210+ acres, Freedom Park is one of the largest green spaces within the Atlanta area.  A hidden gem located in the park at the corner of North Avenue and Candler Park Drive is the Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden, a site for the reintroduction of native plants and shrubs for bird and pollinator habitat.

On January 15, 2019, Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden became Atlanta’s first certified Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary of 2019! With the certification, the garden will be joining a network of approximately 450 Atlanta properties in reestablishing and adding wildlife habitat for threatened birds and other species to our urban area.  To find out more about Atlanta Audubon’s Wildlife Sanctuaries or how you can certify your own property, visit: Atlanta Audubon.

Atlanta Audubon Board Member Melinda Langston presents the certification sign. L-R: Pandra Williams, Laura Hennighausen, Melinda Langston, and Leslie Edwards.

This past November, Beech Hollow volunteers Pandra Williams and Jessi Noreault, worked with members from Cub Scout Pack 586, a Scouts for Equality Inclusive Unit from the Candler Park, Lake Claire, and Inman Park neighborhoods of Atlanta.

Cub Pack 586

Pandra and Jessi guided Cub Scout Pack 586 in identifying invasive species to be removed from the area, how to properly remove plants, identifying desired native plants and how to plant new material.  Together we removed Bradford Pear/ Pyrus calleryana. 

Volunteer Pandra Williams teaches Cub Scouts about plant care. Photo by Meta Larsson.

Pack 586 are fierce with a shovel and did an amazing job digging right down to the roots to get these invasive species out of the garden to make room for planting native plants.  Since it was Fall, plants were hard to identify, and some desired native plants had their roots revealed. No worries though, the plants were put right back in the soil without any plant injuries.  Best of all, this created a great educational opportunity to discuss and look at plant roots and plant dormancy.

Once we cleared a few areas in the garden, Pandra did a demonstration on how to plant.  The scouts planted several native plant species including native Baptisia ssp, Purple Coneflower/ Echinacea purpurea, Georgia Aster/ Symphiotrichum georgianum, and Black-Eyed Susan/ Rudbeckia hirta

Make sure to take a walk-through Freedom Park this spring to check out the blooms from our plantings!

Volunteers work in Freedom Parks Bird and Butterfly Garden.

We love being able to get the word out about native plants, work with and help other local groups and get native roots back into their home soil whenever there is an opportunity!  If you are part of an organization that is interested in education or plant installations of native Georgia plants, please reach out to us.  Every new connection we make is just one more step toward healing our environment.  We can’t do it without y’all!

Seeking Stories – Can You Help?

Freedom Park Conservancy is collecting information about the people and homes that used to populate Freedom Park.

Right now we are particularly interested in  346-368 North Highland Avenue (also known as houses 520, 210, 514, 524 before 1928) in what was Copenhill.

If you have something to share about any of the homes that were demolished for I-485 or the Stone Mountain Tollway, please reach out to!


Freedom Park’s Bird and Butterfly Garden

By Pandra Williams, Beech Hollow Farm, as written for the Candler Park Messenger, September 2018

In 2005, Carol Vanderschaaf started the Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden with Phil Edwards and the DeKalb Master Gardener Association along with Catherine Kuchar of the Audubon Society. Together, they planted over 40 different species of native plants and shrubs and lovingly tended the garden for years. Over time, Carol became the main caretaker of the garden and her many friends and volunteers often call the garden, Carol’s Garden.

Volunteering at Carol’s Garden over the years has always been a learning experience. At every volunteer day a native plant expert is present to identify the native plants in the garden and answer questions about habitat and pollinator gardening. This also helps keep native plants in place and allows volunteers to evict only the weeds.

Last fall, Beech Hollow and Scout Troop 586 scheduled a workday at the garden. The Scouts removed invasive plants from the garden, with adult help and supervision. While the group was hard at work, the Georgia aster was in bloom, and the Heart’s a Busting was dangling berries, to entice the birds to stop by and eat. The brilliant scarlet fruits of the Winterberry, Ilex verticillata, made a gorgeous splash of color under the oak trees. For birds, Winterberry and Heart’s a Busting fruits are the plant equivalent of a neon sign that says “Eat at Joe’s.”

This summer neighborhood volunteers along with Pandra Williams and Jeff Killingsworth of Beech Hollow Farm have worked every other Sunday morning on removing invasive plants, mainly Bradford pear and Porcelain Berry and getting the garden ready for fall planting. Neighborhood volunteers are welcome to join in the fall for planting and mulching.

The Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden has also had a long history of collaboration, mentorship, and environmental enrichment and education. It’s been the site of outdoor environmental classes on pollinator syndromes and environmental stewardship for students at Mary Lin School. Hundreds of hours of volunteer time have been put in over the years, as well as a few thousand dollars of grant money that has been awarded for native plants.

A brief timeline of the Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden:


Carol Vanderschaaf started the Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden with Phil Edwards and the DeKalb Master Gardener Association along with Catharine Kuchar of the Audubon Society. They planted over 40 different species of native plants and shrubs.

2008 through 2012

EcoAddendum engaged the students at Mary Lin School in both learning to garden, in pollinator syndromes and environmental stewardship. The students and Carol Vanderschaaf install more plants.

2013 through 2016

Environmental programming continued with Lauren Sandoval and Trees Atlanta. Each year volunteers planted new native plants.

2017 and on going

Beech Hollow Farms and the Freedom Park Conservancy along with volunteers will continue the maintenance and planting of native plants in the Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden.

Partial list of plants in the Freedom Park Bird and Butterfly Garden

Native plants for birds and/or butterflies:

  • Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia fulgida or Rudbeckia hirta
  • Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea
  • Golden Fleece Goldenrod, Solidago rugosa
  • Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia
  • Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis
  • Crossvine, Bignonia capreolata

Native plants for birds:

  • American Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana
  • Blueberry, Vaccinium spp
  • Yellow root, Xanthorhizza simplicissima

Native plants for butterflies:

  • Butterfly Weed (not Bush), Asclepias tuberosa
  • Joe Pye Weed, Eutrochium fistulosum
  • St. John’s Wort, Hypericum frondosum
  • Pink Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata
  • Passionflower, Passiflora incarnate