Explore South River Forest

Co-Investing in SE Atlanta & SW DeKalb County

Although southeast Atlanta and unincorporated southwest DeKalb County have been burdened with multiple correctional facilities, landfills, wastewater treatment plants, illegal dump sites, truckyards, asphalt plants, and a river with some of the worst contamination in Georgia, thousands of people call this area home. The City of Atlanta and DeKalb County can repair this long history of disinvestment and environmental damage by co-investing in the greenspace and neighborhoods of the South River Forest, maximizing the quality-of-life of its residents.

In partnership with DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson, The Nature Conservancy applied through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP) for assistance in engaging area advocates and key decision makers to begin planning a healthier, more resilient future for the South River Forest. Through December 2022, the South River Forest Consensus Building & Stakeholder Engagement project utilized a Steering Committee, community meetings, and an online survey to determine the South River Forest’s primary assets, key challenges and opportunities, and priority actions for the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County.

In addition to a community engagement and preliminary findings summary, the recommendations outlined in this report are based on high-level research, community input, and several discussions with subject matter experts and stakeholders. This is not a detailed master plan. This document is meant to serve as a starting point for a detailed technical and community led master planning process, wherein each of the ideas in our report are further assessed for feasibility, execution, and timing.

Explore South River Forest

The South River Forest, a proposal for an expansive 3,500-acre network of connected greenspaces inside I-285 in SE Atlanta and SW DeKalb County, would be protected, connected, and activated as publicly accessible greenspace providing significant environmental, social, and economic benefits for metro Atlanta’s communities.


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