38 Acres on Chattahoochee Saved for Roswell River Walk (GA)

CITY OF ROSWELL: Three years ago, Martins Landing neighbors in Roswell woke up to find a “For Sale” sign on 38 acres of Chattahoochee River frontage which was zoned for the development of 42 townhouses. Many Roswell residents had assumed the land was a park. It was adjacent to city-owned Don White Park and was used for jogging, hiking and as a natural oasis. A group of concerned neighborhood residents were determined to save the land and sought help from the Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit land conservation organization. Today, the Trust for Public Land and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) acquired the 38 acres with more than 2000 feet of frontage on the Chattahoochee as part of the Roswell River Walk. DNR will own the land and the City of Roswell will develop the property and manage it with a long-term lease.

Tuck and Pat Tucker led the organizing to save the land, and along with other Martins Landing community members, formed a group called “RAPIDS” and raised more than $250,00 towards the $1.7 million purchase price. The state of Georgia, through Governor Miller’s RiverCare 2000 program granted $1,665,000, largely due to the over-whelming community support for the campaign. The fund-raising effort created the momentum to save not only this 38 acre tract, but the entire seven miles of river-land within the city limits of Roswell. This spring the city will break ground on the first phase of construction for the seven-mile Roswell River Walk, which will connect three units of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

“The Roswell City Council is 100 percent committed to protecting this land and creating the seven mile Roswell River Walk” said Roswell Mayor Jere Wood, “Now all Roswell residents will have the chance to help make the River Walk a reality by voting “yes” on the Parks Bond on March 7.”

The property, which had been owned by Leo Wells, was the largest undeveloped tract of Chattahoochee River land left in the city. Mr. Wells gave the community two years to raise the funds and made a generous donation to the campaign.

The Trust for Public Land has been working in partnership with the City of Roswell to acquire the land for the Roswell River Walk. Founded in 1972, the Trust specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. The Trust has helped protect more than 1 million acres nationwide. TPL recently launched its “Greenprint for Growth” campaign to help sprawl-threatened communities protect land as a way to guide development and sustain a healthy economy and high quality of life.

“We commend the work of Mayor Wood, the City Council, DNR and the entire Roswell community for their persistence and vision in protecting this land,” said Rand Wentworth, Director of the Trust for Public Land in Georgia, “Roswell is a model for how a community can pull together and save the places that people love.”

For quotes:
Roswell Mayor Jere Wood – 770-641-3757
DNR Commissioner Lonice Barrett – 404-656-3500
TPL Director Rand Wentworth – 404-873-7306, ext. 222
TPL Project Manager Norma Casal Buckley – 404-873-7306, ext. 229
Ed Tate (TPL Board and former Roswell City Council) – 770-804-1800
Pat and Tuck Tucker (Martin’s Landings neighborhood) – 770-992-2253