The Blue Heron Nature Preserve’s Blueway Trail in Buckhead is open.

The nonprofit environmental center announced the news Jan. 13, three years after embarking on a $750,000 capital campaign to build the three-mile trail and six months after accomplishing that fundraising goal. Construction also began three years ago and was completed this week when two major bridges were installed.

The trail connects three parcels in the 30-mile greenspace together.

“Visitors can now travel seamlessly to all three Blue Heron properties,” Kevin McCauley, the preserve’s executive director, said in a news release. “It’s a significant milestone as we continue to grow and evolve. Plans for Phase 2 include linking Blue Heron’s trails to nearby Chastain Park and (the) Path400 (Greenway Trail).”

Regarding Phase 2, the city of Atlanta’s TSPLOST/Renew Atlanta bond projects at one time included $1.1 million for the plan to link the Blueway Trail from Path400 to Chastain Park. But when the city discovered there was a funding shortfall of more than $400 million, that trail project and three others were deprioritized, meaning they won’t be built until additional funds are allocated.

The center will officially introduce the trail to the public during its Earth Day Celebration April 25. The free festival will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, music, food, art and family friendly activities. Blue Heron will also mark its 20th anniversary this year.

Located at 4055 Roswell Road, the preserve shares its space with the Atlanta Audubon Society and The Amphibian Foundation. For more information, visit www.bhnp.org.

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