We are only days away from the highly anticipated grand opening of the Whole Foods Market 365 at Paces Ferry Plaza. The building has been under construction since 2017 and replaced a row of businesses that once included a Taco Bell, Caribou Coffee, Bean Head Toys and Glyn Weakley Interiors. This new grocery store will offer Whole Foods brand goods, fresh produce, ethically-raised meats, build-your-own pizza and sandwich bar, as well as a small restaurant, smoothie bar, and cafe.

This rainy weekend we attended a tour of the store and snapped some photos to share a little sneak preview of what to expect once they officially open their doors. On Wednesday, December 12 beginning at 9am the first 100 customers in line will receive a Whole Foods Market 365 gift card ranging in value between $5 and $365 (see what they did there?) and a free reusable tote.

The Buckhead Coalition has paired with Trees Atlanta to back a tree conservation program called NeighborWoods. The organizations hope to preserve and expand the canopy of trees in our increasingly dense city with the Yard Tree Program which offers a selection of trees planted on residential lots at no cost to homeowners.

Photos courtesy Trees Atlanta

According to a 2014 Georgia Tech study Atlanta has the densest tree canopy of any major city in the United States and it’s thanks to efforts from organizations such as Trees Atlanta that we are able to maintain these trees even while our city’s population grows exponentially.

This Georgia Tech Study mapped Atlanta’s Tree Canopy and Buckhead came in first place (top portion of this map)

In addition to preserving the beauty of the lush trees that overlook our community, a healthy tree canopy also lowers summer temperatures, reduces energy consumption, lowers electricity bills, absorbs pollutants, increases property values, combats erosion, and helps to negate the urban heat island effect.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), a “heat island” describes the temperature difference of more heavily populated areas compared with rural surrounds. Annually, a city with a population of one million people or more can be between 1.8 to 5.4 degrees fahrenheit hotter than less populated communities nearby. Factors such as exhaust from cars, emissions from factories and machinery, and the ratio of tree coverage that diffuses heat versus exposed streets and buildings which reflect and retain heat, amplifying overall temperature.

Interested homeowners can visit the Trees Atlanta website here to learn more and apply for this free program. Shade trees such as Maples, Poplars, Wildlife Blackum, and Nuttal Oaks among others have been carefully selected for the program, chosen for their hardiness and ability to cast shade. Residents are able to choose which trees they would like to have planted or they can defer to the advice of Trees Atlanta staff. Arborists and volunteers will deliver and install up to 3 trees per front yard after which the homeowner assumes responsibility for care and maintenance of the trees. Residences that lack the space for overstory trees will have the option to choose native fruit trees instead.