83 Acres for Chattahoochee Greenway (GA)

Gwinnett County, GA, 6/27/01 – The Trust for Public Land-Georgia (TPL) and Crescent Resources, LLC announced today that they have completed the permanent preservation of 83 acres of riverfront land along the Chattahoochee River in Gwinnett County. Located just west of Suwanee in unincorporated Gwinnett, the land will ultimately provide a crucial connection for pedestrian access between existing parcels of park land owned by the National Park Service. TPL expects to turn the land over to the park service within the next year.

“This is going to provide a huge connection between existing parks so that people will be able to walk along an incredible stretch of undeveloped land along the Chattahoochee,” says TPL Southeast Regional Director Dale Allen. “Saving this land also makes a tremendous impact on water quality and protects a beautiful view of the river.”

Kevin Johnson, a TPL consultant who orchestrated the effort, credits Crescent Resources for giving TPL the opportunity to save the land. “We were very happy that Crescent invited us into its planning process,” Johnson says of the land bounded on the west by the river and on the east by Moore Road. Level Creek marks the property’s northern edge. “They gave us a chance to find a way to protect vital resources and enhance recreational opportunities along the river.”

Ed Weinlein, Crescent’s senior vice president of residential development, is also enthusiastic about the project. “Crescent firmly believes in a balance between property sold for long-term preservation and land developed in an environmentally sensitive manner,” says Weinlein, whose land management and real estate development company was formed more than 30 years ago by Duke Energy. The company has land interests in eight states in the southeastern and southwestern U.S. “Through our work with the Trust for Public Land, this transaction ensures that this property will be enjoyed as a natural resource for generations to come.”

In addition to providing a place for people to hike and play, the protected area will also offer the chance to view a substantial wildlife population.

There are numerous wild turkey, white-tailed deer, ducks, wading birds, and song birds that make their homes on the property. The rolling river land is also home to a healthy community of trees – including loblolly, white oak, river birch, ash and walnut. Wild azalea and rhododendron spot the landscape, too.

Reflecting on the land his agency will take responsibility for, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Superintendent Kevin Cheri says the effort will make several dreams come true at once.

“This land adds to the protection effort by providing a buffer between developed properties and the river,” he says, “and it contributes toward the goal shared by several different government and nonprofit agencies to create a trail system along the Chattahoochee River that links North Georgia to South Georgia. Hopefully, this is a sign of what the future holds for the continued success of TPL, the National Park Service and its other partners in their endeavor to acquire additional undeveloped properties crucial to the eventual establishment of a contiguous green corridor along the Chattahoochee River and the protection of this vital resource.”