Summer is a great time to take advantage of the shade of the Frazer Forest canopy, and soon, people who use wheelchairs will be able to access the forest and all of its benefits as well. The Frazer Center is working towards the creation of an accessible outdoor pavilion that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.) Visitors to the forest will have free access to the pavilion which will also serve as an outdoor classroom for both Frazer’s Child Development Program and Adult Program.
The pavilion will be namedafter George Atkins and the late Walt Moeling who were recently honored at Gather in the Gardens, Frazer’s annual fundraiser. The pair was often referred to as the right and left hand of co-founder Rebecca Frazer. They both served as Chair of Frazer’s board, and their support of the Center continued over the course of five decades through many phases of Frazer’s growth. Of the $90,000 that was raised at Gather in the Gardens, $22,000 is earmarked for the pavilion.
Lake Claire neighbor Carol Holliday says, “Being in a wheelchair often means that your view into nature is limited to parks and gardens that have been created with accessibility in mind and thus, while beautiful, are not nature in its natural form. It is not often that we have the opportunity to view an old-growth forest. Frazer Center has made an amazing commitment—to create access points into Frazer Forest while ensuring we maintain the delicate balance required to protect this very fine old growth forest. This is an amazing opportunity for Frazer Center clients—and for others since the Frazer Center has been so generous in opening their grounds.”
Beyond the forest, Frazer has formed a Garden Advisory Committee in an effort to find ways of collaborating with other “green” organizations. With experts from Woodlands Garden, Fernbank, Olmsted Linear Park, Trees Atlanta, Atlanta History Center, Atlanta Hospital Hospitality House, Lullwater Conservation Garden, North Georgia Camellia Society, as well as several master gardeners, the committee is in conversation about ways to better leverage community resources and greenspaces, especially along the Ponce corridor.
This conversation has already created some collaborative opportunities, such as the recent international City Nature Challenge led by Fernbank in partnership with Frazer and many other local organizations. And while Ponce neighbor Woodlands Garden is under renovation this summer, their volunteer team is hitting the road to help out other community organizations, including Frazer, until Woodlands reopens in the fall.
Frazer is fortunate to be part of a community that is committed to nurturing local greenspaces. Lake Claire neighbors are invited to be a part of that mission by signing up for the next Frazer Forest Stewardship Walk with Master Naturalist Kathryn Kolb of Eco-Addendum on Saturday, July 27, where you’ll learn about tree species, “indicator” species, and how to “read” the forest in any season.
Stay tuned for more info. We hope to see you in the forest this summer!