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South Fork Conservancy adds two directors to bolster creekside trail project

Peachtree Creek at confluence, 9:9:16

Despite the drought alert issued for metro Atlanta, Peachtree Creek had a fair amount of water Sept. 9 at the confluence of the creek's north and south forks. Credit: David Pendered

By David Pendered

The non-profit organization that builds and connects trails along Peachtree Creek has added two board members, enlarging its capacity to provide trail excursions that are meaningful and healthful.

The new board members of South Fork Conservancy join a 14-member board chaired by Bob Kerr, a longtime conservationist who served three Georgia governors in devising policies for water management issues with Alabama and Florida.

The newly named board members are Glenn Kurtz and Dr. Christian Larsen.

Here’s how South Fork Conservancy described the new board members:

  • “Kurtz, director of parking at Georgia Institute of Technology, has been involved in transportation planning and management for more than 20 years. He serves as the chairman of the board for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and the Grant Park Conservancy. He also serves on the Green Parking Council’s advisory board. He served several years on the Chastain Park Conservancy’s advisory board and was a member of the 2011 Leadership Atlanta class. Before joining Ga. Tech, he was executive vice president – Transportation and Sustainability for Lanier Parking Solutions.”
  • “Dr. Larsen is dean of the Emory School of Medicine, CEO and chair of the board of directors of Emory Clinic, and vice president for health center integration for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. He is an internationally recognized leader in transplant surgery and immunology, and was founding director of the Emory Transplant Center.”
Glenn Kurtz

Glenn Kurtz

Kerr said in a statement the two new board members will add to the depth of the conservancy as it seeks to develop a trail system along Peachtree Creek.

  • “These two gentlemen bring additional capabilities to the board and enhance the abilities of the SFC to fulfill its mission,” Kerr said.
  • “They have excellent experience and exceptional energy, intellect and leadership skills,” Kerr said. “They also have a strong passion for connectivity of green spaces and neighborhoods through a low impact trail system, providing the opportunity for urban residents to get closer to nature within a reasonable walking distance and offering adults and children alike a nature-based education opportunity, improving both physical and mental health.”
Christian Larsen, South Fork Conservancy

Christian Larsen

South Fork Conservancy is adding capacity as it has recovered from the fallout of the Great Recession, according to the 990 tax returns it was required to post.

The two new board members were named less than four months after the conservancy named Kimberly Estep as executive directory. Estep succeeded Sally Sears, an award-winning news reporter and both the founding director of South Fork Conservancy and founding chair of DeKalb County’s watershed oversight committee.

Revenues have climbed from $57,812 in 2011; to $137,937 in 2013; to $152,184 in 2014, according to the tax forms. No return was posted for 2012 or, as yet, for 2015, according to guidestar.org.

South Fork has used its resources to develop walking trails, remove invasive species, develop and install wayfinding signage, and improve access to the trail by altering a guard rail to ease access to one area, according to tax returns.

Volunteers complete most of this work. Their efforts are overseen by South Fork and its newly developed master plan, according to the tax returns.



David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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