Nickel Bottom Garden is a community garden and wetland bog located on Zonolite Road in Dekalb County, GA. Donate Now! http://www.southforkconservancy.org/
Planning for Nickel Bottom Garden has been in the works since at least 1999, but the garden effort didn't actually take flight until the South Fork Conservancy (http://www.southforkconservancy.org/) expressed interest in Zonolite Park in 2008.
Drawing upon old park sketches designed by Gretchen Musser and others back in 1999, Sally Sears of the SFC, Master Gardener Mary Leight, Landscape Architect Susan Stainback of Sylvatica Studio (http://www.sylvaticastudio.com/) and nearby property owners quickly came together around the idea of a community garden in Zonolite Park. Armed with Susan Stainback's Zonolite Park Master Plan, this small group began meeting to plan the garden in earnest.
As we researched the area, it became apparent that there were some environmental issues in the park. The EPA did extensive testing in the area and found trace amounts of potentially asbestos-containing vermiculite. In October, 2011, cleanup began. Two Million Dollars later, in January, 2011, the park was declared safe. See photos of the cleanup in our album "Remediating Zonolite Park." (Full EPA project info available at: http://www.epaosc.org/site/site_profile.aspx?site_id=5926)
Thanks to efforts by Dekalb County Greenspace Environmental Manager Dave Butler, Susan Stainback and the South Fork Conservancy, several tons of long-buried impervious surface has been removed from the park, and natural riparian pathways, choked off and diverted for decades, have been restored. A small water retention pond, dug to the depth of the water table, has already helped to eliminate the periodic flooding which has plagued adjacent landowners for years. Garden plans include the creation of a gorgeous bog garden in and around this retention pond.
Phase I of our community garden planning includes raising funds to grade and install substrate along the garden pathways, build the first raised beds, and surround the area with fencing. Chef Anne Quatrano, whose restaurant FloatAway Café is adjacent to the