Meet the Newest Member of the Old Growth Forest Network

Just in time for Earth Day, Fernbank Museum of Natural History is proud to announce that Fernbank Forest will be officially inducted as a Dedicated Forest into the Old Growth Forest Network on April 25, 2017 at EcoAddendum’s “Discovering Atlanta’s Original Forest” event at Emory University.

The Old Growth Forest Network is a national network of recognized greenspaces with a goal of inducting at least one forest per county across the country and reversing the decline of old-growth forests. The OGFN works to recognize the preservation of forests so that visitors can experience native forests in their mature diversity and complexity, and enjoy the cultural, ecological and health benefits of these natural spaces.

“Atlanta is one of the most forested metropolises in the country. Within the city are numerous fragmented segments of old-growth forest, the largest of which is Fernbank Forest. Joan Maloof has created an organization that recognizes specific forests and the importance of protecting and preserving these biological refuges. It is an honor for Fernbank Forest to inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network among many other forests, all set aside as ecological preserves that can be enjoyed for generations to come,” said Fernbank Ecologist, Eli Dickerson.

After a period of comprehensive ecological restoration – involving the removal of over 50 acres of threatening non-native invasive plant species – access to Fernbank Forest was made possible via a connector trail from Fernbank Museum last fall.

Be a part of preserving Fernbank Forest by becoming a restoration volunteer!

Plan your visit to Fernbank Forest.

April 21, 2017 at 4:22 pm Leave a comment

The Gift of Learning

On Saturday, February 4, 2017, Fernbank Museum debuted its Giant Screen Theater, featuring state-of-the-art 4K digital projection with both 2D and 3D capabilities.

Through cutting-edge technology, Fernbank’s Giant Screen Theater will provide a truly immersive movie going experience—from floor to ceiling. In addition to the laser projection system, the theater was outfitted with new seats, floors, sound system, screen and the ability to show films in 2D and 3D formats.

These exciting upgrades were made possible by a generous gift from local entrepreneur and lifelong advocate of learning, travel and natural history, Dante Stephensen.

Stephensen’s commitment to inspiring youth for generations to come will be fulfilled by Fernbank’s incredible new state-of-the-art theaters.

Film by Jef Bredemeier.

April 13, 2017 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

Fernbank’s 25th Anniversary

Susan

Fernbank Museum’s President and CEO, Susan Neugent

In 2017, Fernbank Museum of Natural History celebrates 25 years of exciting and fun
science encounters available daily through dynamic programming, incredible exhibits, and breathtaking giant screen films. As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, I am excited to share some highlights:

I invite you to celebrate with us throughout the year. If you’re not already a member, it’s a great time to join. I hope you’ll come explore Fernbank and all we have to offer soon.

—Susan Neugent
President and CEO
Fernbank Museum of Natural History

March 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm Leave a comment

Fernbank Forest Wildflowers

bloodroot_Sanguinaria canadensis_2.20.17
Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis

Fernbank Forest is an old-growth forest with a high diversity of many types of plants, including dozens of different species of native wildflowers. The yearly display of wildflowers peaks in the spring, filling the forest with vibrant blooms of color in February and March, sunlight easily streams through the canopy while trees are still leafless, coaxing the ephemeral wildflowers up from beneath the surface of the soil.

 

They emerge quickly and bloom for just a few weeks, enjoying the longer days and abundant sunshine. Soon after blooming they (hopefully) get pollinated and set their seed, then vanish back to their roots, not to be seen again until next year.

March and April are often the highlight of spring wildflower season, but Fernbank Forest generally has at least one species blooming from February through November—so keep your eyes on the ground throughout the year and you’re likely to see something new each visit.

Fernbank Forest, Atlanta, Georgia

Early Spring Wildflowers
Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis
Spicebush Lindera benzoin
Spring beauty Claytonia virginica
Violets Viola spp.
Trout lily Erythronium spp.
Toothwort Cardamine angustata
Sweet betsy trillium Trillium cuneatum
Wild geranium Geranium maculatum

wild geranium FF_00687
Mid-spring Wildflowers

Oconee bells Shortia galacifolia
Redbud Cercis canadensis
Yellow trillium Trillium luteum
Star chickweed Stellaria pubera
Nodding trillium Trillium rugelii
Sweetshrub Calycanthus floridus
Foamflower Tiarella cordifolia
Pawpaw Asimina parviflora
Pale yellow trillium Trillium discolor
Doll’s eyes Actaea pachypoda

Late Spring Wildflowers
Tuliptree Liriodendron tulipifera
Umbrella magnolia Magnolia tripetala
Rain lily Zephyranthes atamasca
Solomon’s seal Polygonatum biflorum
Partridgeberry Mitchella repens
Indian Pink Spigelia marilandica

Learn more about “Atlanta’s hidden gem,” Fernbank Forest.

March 17, 2017 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

Fernbank Forest Spring Tree Planting

A large-scale ecological restoration project has been underway in Fernbank Forest for the past few years. While this process mostly involves the careful extraction of nonnative, invasive plant species, it also includes some targeted plantings.

On Saturday, February 25, volunteers, staff and board members planted 26 native tree species as part of the restoration. Species included northern red oak, white oak, blackgum, sassafras and hickory to name just a few.

The plantings took place in an area formerly inundated with bamboo, chocolate vine (Akebia) and Chinese wisteria. The trees fill gaps that were left once the majority of the invasive plants were removed. The trees also provide food for pollinator species, habitat for other organisms, and help prevent soil erosion.

We look forward to maintaining these plantings and watching these trees grow over the coming years and decades.

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Be a part of the restoration and preservation of Fernbank Forest—become a volunteer!

March 9, 2017 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

Oh, The Weather Outside’s Delightful

After our recent blast of winter weather, Mother Nature is making things up to us with spring like weather.

Join us this weekend and combat those winter blues with 75 acres of nature experiences in WildWoods and Fernbank Forest.dsc_2837-3-edit

In addition to outdoor adventures, we’ll also offer a variety of fun programs:

Saturday, January 14
Pirate Day, 10am – 2pm
Enjoy pirate-themed crafts and games, enjoy a visit from the Atlanta Pirate and Wenches Guild and get up close with over 15 species of parrots.

Tadpole Tales, 11:30am
Join a Fernbank educator for a special pirate-themed edition of this popular preschool program.

Sunday, January 15
Excellent Experiments, 12pm
Explore the amazing world of chemistry through fun experiments in a live presentation.

Live Animal Encounter, 2pm
Meet one of Fernbank’s animal ambassadors.

Monday, January 16excexperiments-fernbank-museum
Weekday Wonders, 10:30am – 1pm
Learn more about magnets through a variety of hands-on activities.

Excellent Experiments, 3pm
Explore the amazing world of chemistry through fun experiments in a live presentation.

All activities are included with Museum admission and are free for members. Fernbank Museum is open 10am – 5pm daily.

January 13, 2017 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

Cheers to 2017

As part of our annual Noon Year’s Eve celebration, we’ve partnered with GoGo Squeez to offer complimentary healthy snacks for our visitors. We encourage you to turn your treat into a celebratory mocktail using the following recipe.


Gogojito10906103_761083063984440_439370759583867941_n

Ingredients

  • 8 pouches GoGo squeeZ applesauce
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 4 cups club soda (Can substitute ginger ale or Sprite)

Directions

  • Shake applesauce, lime juice and mint. Fine strain into a glass and top with soda. Makes 6-8 drinks.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

 

December 30, 2016 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

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About

At Fernbank Museum, there’s much more than dinosaurs and giant-screen films. Even with our website, e-newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter updates, there’s still a lot we’d like to share with you. This blog is an opportunity for the people that keep Fernbank running and constantly expanding, to share stories from their point of view. We hope you’ll enjoy these first-hand, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what goes into keeping a world-class natural history museum running. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these stories, to hear your personal experiences and hear any suggestions for topics. Happy reading!

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