One Mile Protected on Chattahoochee in Gwinnett (GA)

GWINNETT COUNTY, GA: The Trust for Public Land today announced the acquisition of a 130 acre tract of land along the Chattahoochee River north of Settles Bridge in Gwinnett County. This undeveloped tract has 5,400 feet of river frontage and was targeted for acquisition over 20 years ago by the National Park Service for its natural beauty and its unparalleled river access. The Trust plans to eventually transfer ownership of the property to the National Park Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for permanent protection. The Trust acquired the land from West Enterprises, Inc.

In a related transaction, in October 1999, Gwinnett County acquired an adjacent 217 acre tract along the Chattahoochee. These two tracts, totaling 347 acres were slated for development of 550 homes, but will now be enjoyed by for years to come as a public nature preserve.

“Protection of greenspace along the Chattahoochee River is key to the quality of life in Gwinnett County,” said Wayne Hill, Gwinnett County Commission Chair. “The County has invested more than $10 million to protect land along the Chattahoochee. We are grateful for the assistance of the Trust for Public Land for helping acquire this beautiful mile along the river.”

Rand Wentworth, Georgia Director of the Trust for Public Land said, “This beautiful river property will be protected forever thanks to the leadership of our partners Chairman Hill and the Gwinnett Commission, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service. Protection of land along the Chattahoochee makes sense in so many ways: new recreation lands, better water quality, and habitat for wildlife.”

The Trust for Public Land formed a coalition of business, government, and environmental groups to protect a 180-mile greenway along the river. The Trust is working closely with Gwinnett County, the National Park Service, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, private foundations and corporations, and other local governments along the river. The Nature Conservancy is assisting with land acquisition, planning and ecological assessments on the river to protect land along the river.

Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. The Trust recently launched its “Greenprint for Growth” campaign to help fast-growing communities protect land as a way to guide development and sustain a healthy economy and high quality of life. The Trust has protected over 1 million acres of land, 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.