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Where the Water Goes 2 – Native Cane and Birding at Panola Mountain

July 15, 2017 @ 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Meeting time changed to 8:30 AM 

This walk is full – now taking wait list

Eco-A features the South River for our Where the Water Goes Series in 2017!  

This year we partner with the South River Watershed Alliance, highlighting the South River, which is born from Atlanta’s southern and eastern springs and streams, from East Point and Perkerson Park east along the south side of Decatur. When the South River joins the Yellow River at Jackson Lake, it becomes Georgia’s signature Ocmulgee River, which drops down through Macon and then bends east to join the Oconee River, becoming the mighty Altamaha. The Altamaha drains nearly a quarter of the state of Georgia and is one of the largest freshwater systems reaching the eastern coast of North America.

Our series features five outings, including walks and canoe trips, along the South River, from its headwaters in Atlanta neighborhoods to its outfall at the Atlantic Ocean.

July 15  – Trip 2: Native Cane and Birding at Panola Mountain

in partnership with the South River Watershed Alliance

Native cane at field edge, South River

After leaving Atlanta, the South River flows on to skirt the edge of Panola Mountain State Park, one of very few conservation parks in the state system. On this trip we’ll visit a river cane restoration project, established with the help of the South River Watershed Alliance. River cane Arundinaria gigantea is the only bamboo (a grass) native to our continent. It was very important to Native Americans for many uses: in addition to eating the shoots and seeds in both fresh and cooked dishes, cane was used to build homes and boats, make baskets, mats, flutes, pipe stems, knives, drills, fishing gear, blow guns, arrow shafts and atlatl darts capable of penetrating the metal body armor of the 16th century Spanish conquistadors.

Native cane is also critical for native wildlife habitat along rivers and floodplains, but because these areas were often farmed, few places with native cane remain, reducing many species, including the Swainson’s warbler. South River Watershed Alliance and other groups are reintroducing native cane along streams and rivers to restore native bio-diversity as well as restore stable and resilient stream banks.

Volunteers clear invasive privet, which shades out cane.

We’ll walk along a section of the South River near Panola Mountain that joins the Arabia Mountain Trail where we’ll visit a cane restoration area that is also part of the Power of Flight birding-banding research project. We’ll learn about the importance of river cane and about our migrating songsters, and we’ll listen for the distinctive call of the Swainson’s warbler (which for you birders sounds like somewhat the beginning song of the Louisiana waterthrush plus the ending song of white-eyed vireo).

To register, click HEREDetails and directions will be sent to registered participants. 

A donation of $15 or more helps sustain our programs.

For more info about SRWA river cane projects see:

For more info about the elusive Swainson’s warbler and its migration from Central America to our river banks see:

Swainson’s warbler, photo by Michael O’Brien




July 15, 2017
8:30 am - 11:30 am