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South Hall park is a bird haven
Audubon society honors Williams Mill for habitat
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Williams Mill Greenspace Park in South Hall County has been certified as a wildlife sanctuary by the Atlanta Audubon Society. More than 45 species of birds have been seen here.

Williams Mill Greenspace Park in South Hall has been certified as a wildlife sanctuary by the Atlanta Audubon Society.

The distinction recognizes that the park has all the elements in place to support wildlife and bird species.

"It’s just another thing that will draw people into our park and into our community," said Marci Summer, facility manager for the South Hall Community Center.

"It will give us recognized status on the audubon society ... It’s a good, smaller-scale tourist interest to attract people to our parks."

More than 45 species of birds have been seen at Williams Mill, in addition to other wildlife that call the park home.

Peter Gordon, education director at Elachee Nature Science Center, said the almost 50 acres at Williams Mill offer a diverse habitat to many species of birds.

Gordon kept a catalogue of the bird species he’s seen at the park, which was used to apply the wildlife sanctuary status.

One of the most important features of the park is the many acres of grasslands.

"It’s really a jewel," Gordon said. "It’s especially nice for birds. Of that 50 acres, 30 of them probably are really nice grasslands. So you see a lot of neat Eastern bluebirds and meadowlarks and field sparrows ... Just the other day a great blue heron was down near the pond. Just a lot of nice species."

Gordon said the park is important because open farmland that once hosted many species of birds is disappearing in Hall County.

"A good many of them are being converted into residential areas so that’s a really nice habitat that you don’t have as much as you used to," he said.

Summer said partnerships with organizations such as the audubon society can benefit the park in the future.

"Partnerships with other organizations will assist us in grant funding if we need to do stream protection, trail design and things like that. The more organizations that you sponsor, the more opportunities you have," Summer said.

The certification fee for the park was donated by the Buford Lanier Woman’s Club.

Williams Mill is open year-round, from dawn to dusk and is free to the public. The park is located at 6166 Blackjack Road in Flowery Branch.

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