Peggy McCormick, back, and Susan Euart clean up some areas in the 7-acre Duck Pond Park, nestled in the Peachtree Heights East neighborhood.

A couple of geese honked across the Duck Pond.

“They’re from the Bobby Jones Golf Course,” Peggy McCormick said, looking over at the ducks and geese swimming on the century-old pond in the Peachtree Heights East neighborhood. “They come over here for lunch, then they fly over there to hang out with their buddies.”

The Duck Pond in the Peachtree Heights East neighborhood offers commuting geese and plenty of other animals and people a green retreat just about a block off Peachtree Road in the heart of Buckhead. More than 40 species of birds, a dozen types of mammals, and 35 species of plants and shrubs make homes in Duck Pond Park, according to the neighborhood association.

Residents of the Peachtree Heights East neighborhood are going public with their fundraising campaign to continue their extensive renovation of the Duck Pond.

“It’s been willed to us. We’ve maintained it for 100 years,” said Bob Guinn, a retired architect who has lived in the neighborhood since 1975, and is managing the design and construction for the renovation. We feel like it’s a trust. If we don’t do it, it’s just going to go to weeds.”

The fundraising campaign is working to raise $550,000 for the renovation planned for the pond and the 7-acre Duck Pond Park that surrounds it, said McCormick, president of the Peachtree Heights East Neighborhood Association and chairwoman of the campaign. About half of that has been raised already, from the organization’s board members and from foundations, she said.

The campaign now formally is asking the public for help, with hopes of raising the rest of the money it needs from residents of the area and local charities and businesses, McCormick said. “Now, in our neighborhood, we are talking about the capital campaign all the time,” she said.

The park is home to more than 40 species of birds.

This actually is the second phase of work done through the Duck Pond Park Century Plan to stabilize the pond and park. The first phase, which cost $460,000, began in 1999 and included dredging of the pond and the addition of two silt-collection ponds.

Money being raised now for the second phase of work is directed toward a variety of projects in both the pond and other parts of the

“The first major capital campaign exclusively focused on the pond area,” McCormick said. “We have never done anything down here [in the rest of the park] except mow and

Work planned on the pond will extend a stone wall to replace railroad ties used to support some areas of the pond’s bank and to eliminate overflow problems that sometimes cause flooding of the street next to the pond, Guinn said. Work planned in the park downstream from the pond is intended to stabilize the eroding banks of the stream that runs out of the

The Peachtree Heights neighborhood was developed in the early 20th century by Atlanta developer Eretus Rivers, the namesake of E. Rivers Elementary School, according to the neighborhood association. The pond originally was built by residents who lived along its border, Guinn said, and it has been maintained by neighborhood groups. The pond now is owned by a neighborhood trust, he

“This is an old park. This is an old pond,” McCormick said.

Now its neighbors are coming together again to take care of it.

“It’s been enjoyed by generations,” McCormick said. “It’s been taken care of by generations. It’s our turn.”

To find more information or to make a donation:

Peggy McCormick, left, president of the Peachtree Heights East Neighborhood Association, chats with longtime resident Bob Guinn, who is overseeing the park’s renovation. McCormick is the chairwoman of the fundraising campaign.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.