Georgia Audubon will be moving into some new “digs” around the first of the year, and we’ll be sharing the space with friends!
Construction on the new Trees Atlanta Kendeda Tree House is wrapping up, and Georgia Audubon and other partners are on schedule to move into the new building at 825 Warner Street SW by the end of the year.
Located on 2.9 acres of a former industrial lot, the new facility includes 1.5 acres of restored greenspace and two large buildings. The main building faces Warner Street and the Westside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. This building houses staff offices and conference rooms, classrooms, and spaces with catering facilities for events and community gatherings. A second structure is an operations and logistics center for trucks and equipment. The buildings are surrounded by open and forested outdoor learning spaces with nearly 200 new trees that will be planted on the property.
Georgia Audubon will have use of five shared workstations and one private office, as well as access to meeting rooms, event space, storage for tools and other equipment, and a secure place to park the truck used by our habitat restoration team.
“If we learned anything from COVID, it was that we can all work very efficiently at home but that we also need a flexible work space for in-person meetings and events,” says Executive Director Jared Teutsch. “Our new space at the new Trees Atlanta Kendeda Tree House will allow us to work collaboratively when needed, while maintaining the flexibility that remote work provides. We’ll also have access to a fantastic event space that we can use for educational programs and large events, like our Georgia Bird Fest Closing Celebration.”
The Kendeda Tree House offers excellent access to the West Side Atlanta BeltLine and is within easy walking distance of one of Georgia Audubon’s Chimney Swift Towers.
Four Nonprofits Under One Roof
With 23,000 square feet of interior space, the new facility will accommodate Trees Atlanta, as well as three other environmental nonprofit organizations: Georgia Audubon, The Conservation Fund, and The Nature Conservancy in Georgia.
“The mission of each of these organizations is closely aligned with Georgia Audubon’s mission to build places where birds and people thrive, and we look forward to working collaboratively with these organizations,” says Jared Teutsch, Executive Director.
The property at 825 Warner Street required brownfield remediation and had only 3% tree canopy on the lot, which includes a mature Southern red oak that stands in the western boundary of the lot. After the construction and landscape installation is completed, half of the land will be restored greenspace. With newly planted native plants and trees growing alongside the oak tree, the canopy cover will increase to more than 60% in about 15 years. Plans are underway to certify a portion of this landscape as a Georgia Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary.
Trees Atlanta Co-Executive Director Greg Levine shared his thoughts, “We want to be an example of how a new development can also bring ecological improvements. We hope to be a good neighbor and be a useful resource for education and employment opportunities for the neighborhoods nearest us while we work with communities across metro Atlanta.”
Bringing Others Along
The decision to share the office space was a confluence of timing and chemistry, says Trees Atlanta.
The Conservation Fund has offices across the country, and the choice to locate its Georgia staff at the TreeHouse is a strategic decision that will open up fresh opportunities for its current employees, as well as potentially attract new employees. “We want a vibrant and exciting workplace that will allow us to retain and attract talented staff,” according to Andrew Schock, Georgia and Alabama State Director of The Conservation Fund. “Working alongside other conservation colleagues will allow for more sharing of conservation ideas that will benefit the people of Atlanta.”
In March 2020, The Nature Conservancy in Georgia closed their offices as a health precaution because of COVID-19. As the months of the pandemic went on, they came to the conclusion that they worked just as effectively virtually as they did in a room together. By sharing space at the TreeHouse, they see the potential to use less office space and reduce their environmental footprint, while also having larger meeting spaces available as needed. “The last few years have presented us with many unique challenges. As much as we have all been able to do remotely, there are some things that are just better done sitting across the table from one another in a conference room,” explained Interim Executive Director Dan Ryan.
Georgia Audubon is excited to be moving into this wonderful new space with Trees Atlanta, The Conservation Fund, and The Nature Conservancy. We all look forward to being good neighbors in our new home on Warner Street and to welcoming members and guests to our new facility.
Birds Georgia is building places where birds and people thrive.