Volunteer Efforts Remove Litter and Invasives from Charles B Henson Preserve

Volunteer Efforts Remove Litter and Invasives from Charles B Henson Preserve

inside dumpster



Work began early Saturday morning as over 40 volunteers divided up the tasks for the day. Led by preserve managers Andi and Alan Potter, the crew spent the next 8 hours removing a significant amount of household trash, tires, invasive plants, and a remnant silt fence. A drainage ditch filled in with debris was cleared out, allowing us to redirect water, prevent erosion, and improve the durability of trails. Managing the water runoff through this cleared ditch will improve water quality in nearby Hurricane Creek by preventing sediment from entering.



cleared campsite hensonMeanwhile, BSA Troop 223 gathered stones to build fire rings and prepared campsites to welcome the next flush of visitors as spring invites us back outdoors.  


Among the targets for invasive plant removal were Bradford Pears, a notorious landscape tree known for rapidly spreading and displacing native trees. Thanks to a generous donation from a neighbor, we were able to remove the invasive tree from one of the primary driveways. Removal of the mature trees required heavy machinery and chainsaws. Luckily, among the volunteers were professional arborists willing to take charge and lead others in the deconstruction of large branches. The resulting logs will be seasoned and used as firewood for visitors. With the Bradford Pears gone, the native flora will have a chance to grow, providing much-needed food and shelter for the local wildlife.


 volunteer chainsaw woman


volunteer chainsaw    

 Situated at the southern foothills of Lookout Mountain in Trenton, Georgia, and surrounded by farms and Cloudland Canyon State Park, the preserve serves as an important connection for local wildlife populations throughout the seasons. Local residents include songbirds, box turtles, beaver, turkey, and deer, making the preserve an ideal location for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. Volunteer efforts like these not only enhance aesthetic appeal but also play a crucial role in providing a clean habitat for the diverse wildlife that call the preserve home.

  Salamander Box Turtle

Thanks to the volunteer efforts, over 500 hours of work, valued at $10,000 of labor, was put into cleaning the preserve. Through ongoing preserve maintenance events, we are committing to responsibly managing the natural resources on the preserve’s 2000 acres and working toward creating a land management plan based on Land Trust Alliance standards.

To all who came out, we thank you. Conservation is an action that requires awareness and responsiveness to the needs of the land. We deeply appreciate the generous donations, memberships, and the invaluable gift of time from volunteers. It is through your contributions that we can continue to take proactive measures in safeguarding the preserve's fragile ecosystems, both above and below ground.

Together, we can create a positive and lasting impact on the conservation efforts in our region.

If you would like to be involved in the next clean-up, sign up for our volunteer email list.

Special thanks to preserve managers, Andi and Alan Potter, The Non-Grotto Grotto for rallying a crowd to help, Dade Co officials Tommy Bradford and Ted Rumley for their ongoing support of clean-up efforts and disposal of tires, Rent-All for a reduced cost rental of heavy equipment and Issac Caza of The Haul Away Guy who donated his services to remove the dumpsters of trash. 

Haul Away truck