The Atlanta City Council on Oct. 1 authorized paying up to $3.75 million for the purchase of a 4.86-acre tract at 4055 Roswell Road that would be used to enlarge the present Blue Heron Nature Preserve in North Buckhead.

The purchase would enlarge the present Blue Heron Preserve from 20 acres to almost 25 acres and it would remain a passive green space in one of the region’s busiest neighborhoods.

The present preserve runs along Roswell Road at Rickenbacker Drive just south of Sandy Springs. The additional land, which the city would actually purchase from The Conservation Fund, will connect a forest that flanks Nancy Creek with a wetland area. The site the city intends to buy includes a small office center, which can provide additional parking.

The Blue Heron Preserve got its start when several local residents and the North Buckhead Civic Association convinced developer Steven Delonga to set aside seven acres in the Nancy Creek flood plain as part of his negotiations to build a nearby housing project.

Volunteers restored the land to its original state by trying to stabilize the creek bank and removing invasive plants. The city also donated about five acres to the preserve that had been used as a construction site that was part of a sewer tunnel project along Roswell Road.

The new land, along with the original preserve, will be maintained by a non-profit organization named the Blue Heron Nature Preserve.