67 Acres Saved for Chattahoochee Riverway (GA)

The Trust for Public Land announced today the acquisition of 67 acres with more than 4,300 feet of frontage along the Chattahoochee River within the Wild Timber community in Gwinnett County, south of Highway 20. The land is adjacent to two tracts totaling more than 490 acres and 6,600 feet of river frontage that were acquired recently in a partnership between the Trust, Gwinnett County, the National Park Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. More than two miles of the Chattahoochee River are now protected in these three acquisitions.

The Trust for Public Land and the The Nature Conservancy are working jointly with local, state and federal government agencies to protect 180 miles of the Chattahoochee River from Helen to Columbus. The goals of the initiative are to protect safe drinking water and enhance communities with parks, trails and natural lands.

The Wild Timber riverfront acreage was owned by Fairgreen Capital, L.P.; the community itself is being developed by Fairgreen Development.

Leo Morehouse, chief executive officer of Fairgreen Capital, called the transaction “a win-win” for the metro area and Wild Timber’s residents.

“Protecting natural resources is the heart of our development philosophy and our plans for Wild Timber,” Mr. Morehouse said. “What’s more, the Chattahoochee Riverway will add to the hiking trails that Wild Timber families already enjoy within their own neighborhood.”

Rand Wentworth, director of The Trust for Public Land in Georgia, said, “We are well on our way to protecting the longest community river park in America, which is remarkable since it passes through some of the most highly prized real estate in the country. Our success depends on the vision of organizations like Fairgreen Capital that recognize that protection of land along the source of our drinking water makes good sense – both for the environment and for business.”

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 one million acres nationwide, including such national treasures as George Washington’s Mt. Vernon, Thoreau’s Walden Woods, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. In Georgia, the Trust has helped to preserve Cumberland Island, Ft. Frederica on St. Simons Island, and the Chattahoochee, Ocmulgee, and Chattooga Rivers. The Trust 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.