Located in west Cobb at Dallas Highway and Old Hamilton Road, Green Meadows Preserve Community Garden (formerly Bullard-Stockton Property) was established in April 2012 and is a joint project between Cobb County Parks & Recreation Department and the Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County.
“I’ve always been a passionate gardener,” said Bearden, a Master Gardener who has been involved with the garden since its inception serving on the Advisory Board. He and his wife, Kathy, have two grown children and one grandchild. He is a contractor that facilitates meetings and events for a large company.
Having grown up on a farm, Bearden understands the plight of bluebirds. “Bluebirds don’t make nests in trees or on side buildings like a lot of birds. They need a cavity, an enclosure to make their nest, to lay their eggs and hatch their young. The biggest problem (for the bluebirds) is that when trees get rotten and there is a cavity, we cut them down,” he said.
“(Bluebirds) are starting to dwindle and there numbers are starting to decrease. The reason for that is the lack of adequate places to make their nests and raise their young,” Bearden said.
Last year, during the spring garden tour and plant sale sponsored by the Master Gardener Volunteers, Bearden purchased a bluebird nesting box. With permission, he erected the box on the community garden fence in April. A pair of bluebirds moved in, laid five eggs and hatched five bluebirds.
“That (first brood) was the beginning. I got the idea of what I wanted to do,” he said.
Bearden obtained sponsors for 24 nesting boxes that were spaced 150 to 200 yards apart throughout the trail. (A 25th box is planned that will be sold in a silent auction for the trail in September). Feeders and perches were also erected. He registered the trail with Cornell University’s Nest Watch that collects data on the successes and failures of nesting birds.
Bearden said the biggest cost now is the $200 per month it takes to feed the bluebirds. The Master Gardener Volunteers are seeking people to become Friends of the Bluebird Trail to help with the offset of expenses.
“It’s a fascinating park. It’s an amazing garden. It’s a beautiful trail. There are lots of birds, lots of eastern bluebirds. It’s a very easy walk. You can be entertained along the way. You never know what you’re going to see,” Bearden said.
The garden is at 3780 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs.
To become a Friend of the Bluebird Trail, email email@example.com. For more information, visit bluebirdtrail.blogspot.com.