The Dunwoody Nature Center is honoring Ross Lane, who once owned the home that now houses the Dunwoody Nature Center, with a 90th birthday party on Tuesday, March 5, at 3 p.m. The celebration will be in the North Woods Pavilion of the Nature Center, 5343 Roberts Drive.

Ross Lane. (City of Dunwoody)

Lane moved to the home on what is now the Dunwoody Nature Center in 1962 with his wife and two children. A third child was born while the family lived there for 12 years, according to a city news release. The paneling in the Nature Center is the same as when Lane lived in the home, and the master bedroom is now the office of Executive Director Michael Cowan, according to the news release.

DeKalb County approached Lane in 1974 to buy his property for a park through eminent domain. Eminent domain gives government the power to take private property for public use by offering fair market value, according to state law.

“However reluctant that initial ‘donation’ by eminent domain was, we know he’s looking forward to celebrating his part in preserving our little slice of nature in Dunwoody,” Cowan said in the press release.

DeKalb County owned the property until 2011, when the city of Dunwoody took over the deed as part of a parks ownership agreement.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.