The 16,485 acres protected by ALT are diverse in size, habitat, and location throughout the state. The majority of this land is under conservation easement, but also includes land protected through fee simple donation. These properties are located in 36 counties and in 10 of Georgia’s 14 major watersheds (Chattahoochee, Coosa, Flint, Ocmulgee, Oconee, Ogeechee, Satilla, Savannah, Suwanee, and Tennessee). These lands include natural habitats and river frontage in addition to working agricultural land and land of historical significance. Many of these tracts connect with other protected land, as we work to create corridors adjacent to national forest, wildlife management areas, and land protected by other land trusts.
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Recently Protected Land
At the end of 2015, Athens Land Trust closed on four conservation easements in Oconee County and north of Atlanta. These parcels are now permanently protected from development and contribute over $430,000 annually in air quality, stormwater management, biodiversity protection, aesthetic values and agricultural production.
ALT worked again with 2012 and 2014 conservation easement donor Kevin York, this time to protect 197 acres of natural forest adjacent to the Oconee River. The land contains priority habit, including Bottomland Hardwood Forest, Canebrakes, Mesic Hardwood Forest, Oak-Hickory-Pine Forest, Springs and Spring Runs, and has more than 2,500 feet of Blue Line Streams, riparian buffers along the Oconee River and Shoal Creek, and more than 4 acres of wetlands.
ALT also protected another 44 acres in Oconee County, a tract that includes working and natural forest with Bottomland Hardwood Forest, Mesic Hardwood Forest, and Streams. Greenbrier Creek flows through the property, which will allow for horseriding on its trails.
A mother and son, the Marazitis, protected two tracts of land in Forsyth and Dawson counties. One tract will preserve a 5-acre urban farm with natural forest containing Bottomland Hardwood Forest, Mesic Hardwood Forest, Oak-Hickory-Pine Forest, Springs and Spring Runs, and Streams, in an area under great development pressure. The other, with a potential for public access, protects undeveloped natural hardwood forest on the shores of Lake Lanier.
Our Conservation Projects
Bear Creek: 243 acres of forest, wetlands, and streams near Bear Creek Reservoir in Athens-Clarke and Jackson Counties. Donated by Lewis Scruggs and Mike Gautreaux, this property is located downstream from the reservoir, protecting our community drinking water.
Bibb: 45 acres of forest and streams in Bibb County, near downtown Macon. The landowner, Jim Goolsby, has placed a Conservation Easement to safeguard the streams and sloped oak-hickory forest found on this property.
Boulevard: A small, urban, forested property that maintains neighborhood greenspace in Athens’ Boulevard neighborhood. After a tornado irreparably damaged a house on Boulevard, the owner donated an easement on the lot for the establishment of a neighborhood park.
Bowden Park: 17 acres of hardwoods and old fields located two miles west of downtown Athens. The easement protects land around a pond that the neighborhood uses for fishing and picnicking. An unimproved trail around the lake also provides walking and birding opportunities.
Brent Dooly: 326 acres of natural forest and farmland in Dooly County that includes 1.5 miles of Jallapo Branch. The easement preserves native grasses and other riparian species. The easement also preserves 242 acres of prime and important farmland soils for future agricultural use.
Bryant: 59 acres of farmland, forest, and a pond in Oconee County. Clay Bryant donated this property filled with diverse sloped forest filled with many large hardwood trees and native woodland species.
Burdett: 167 acres of forest land, located just east of historic Washington in Wilkes County. The farm has been in the Burdett family since the early 1800s, and contains the grave site of Revolutionary War veteran Abram Simon.
Camden-Maryfield: 483.5 acres of wetlands in Camden County on Georgia’s Southern Coastal Plain. This property includes 1.2 miles of frontage along the Satilla River, a High Priority Waterway as identified by Georgia’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. The tract has significant conservation value for this ecologically rich region.
Chase Street: 49 acres of forest, pasture, and streams that flow into the North Oconee River in Athens-Clarke County. The landowners, Virginia and Carrol Beavers, are generously allowing Athens Land Trust to provide public access for the community with walking and biking trails and an urban farm
Five Acre Woods: 5 acres of urban forest, home to large hardwood trees and an important bird habitat. The Athens Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the tract to further ensure its protection as a natural park. There are walking trails through the park, which is accessible to all.
Foxhall Farms: 11 acres of forest land in the Foxhall Farms neighborhood in Athens-Clarke County.
Green: 2,384 acres of forest along the Ocmulgee River adjacent to the Piedmont National Wildlife refuge is protected by two conservation easements. The Green family will continue to manage their land for hunting and timber, while preserving the bottomland forest and native habitats.
Hatmaker: 29 acres of steep slopes and bottomland forest in Athens-Clarke County. The easements includes a swamp, seeps, an oak-hickory forest, stream corridors and pastureland.
Hiawassee: 111 acres of forest in Towns County encompassing the northern portion of Berrong Mountain. This mature Oak-Hickory forest connects to the Appalachian Trail and slopes to important trout streams in the adjacent Wildlife Management Areas in the Oconee National Forest.
Hillsman Farm: 30 acres of working cattle farmland. The land was protected with funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Oconee County. The landowner, Charles Hillsman, donated a fourth of the value of the easement.
Hinton: 108 acres of natural forest in Spalding and Henry Counties on the Towaliga River. The tract contains important streams, bottomland forest, and wetlands. Protection of this tract helps to preserve the community’s water supply. A partnership with the Georgia Conservancy
House Farm: 92 acres of Oconee County farmland protected with 2 easements through the USDA NRCS Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program, with matching funds provided by Oconee County. The landowners donated 25% of the easements’ value.
Icy Forest: 197 acres of natural forest adjacent to the Oconee River, Shoal Creek, and other land protected by Athens Land Trust in Oconee County.
Jordan: 13 acres of beautiful land along the North Oconee River in Athens-Clarke County. Carl and Carmen Jordan have placed an easement protecting sloping oak and hickory forest with riparian areas. This land is surrounded by subdivisions so it is especially important habitat to have protected.
Kenney Ridge: Three easements protect 39 acres of hardwoods and fields in this western Athens-Clarke County neighborhood. This land serves as an important greenspace for the surrounding neighborhood.
Langdale Farm: 64 acres of prime farmland in Athens-Clarke County protected through the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Athens-Clarke County Greenspace Acquisition Program funded by SPLOST.
Lexington Lake: Ed Segraves has preserved 51.5 acres of land that contains oak-hickory sloped forest and frontage along the Middle Oconee River. The Lexington Lake Conservation Easement is located off of Atlanta Highway, a heavily developed thoroughfare of Athens.
Lightwood Properties: Two easements protecting 741 acres of natural forest and 603 acres of working forest and hunting land in Jones County. Both of these easements are adjacent to other protected lands.
Longleaf Preserve: 814 acres in Meriweather County. The Raptis family donated this land, preserving hardwood draws and bottomland forest along almost 3 miles of blue line streams, including Flat Creek and tributaries of Coleman Creek.
Lost Mountain: 152 acres of mature hardwood forest that are part of a Civil War battlefield site in Cobb County. This land is protected by two easements, preserving historic land and amazing oak-hickory sloped forest, in partnership with the Georgia Piedmont Land Trust, which owns the property.
Maraziti Farm: 5 acres of an urban farm and natural forest in Forsyth County.
Maraziti: 1 acre of natural forest on the shores of Lake Lanier, allowing for public access, in Dawson County.
Martin: 48 acres of hardwood forest next to the Chattahoochee National Forest in Fannin County. The property protects the scenery and water quality of Lake Blue Ridge for users of the adjacent Chattahoochee National Forest. A Georgia Conservancy partnership.
McLeod: 474 acres of prime farmland with natural forest and streams in Wilcox County protected by the McLeod family. This land provides wildlife habitat and scenic views for this agricultural community by preserving fields of crops and diversity of native species in the forest area.
McLeod Farms: The McLeod family has preserved 290 acres of working forest, hardwood forest and more than a mile of streams and riparian habitat in Sumter County. The McLeod Farm Conservation Easement also contains 49% of prime agricultural soil.
Meriwether: Landowners, Donald King and Abby Perez, have preserved 854 acres of land in Meriwether County. This Conservation Easement protects 2 acres of granite outcrops and 7 miles along the Walnut Creek and its tributaries. The land is managed as working forest and for hunting.
Milford Hills: 23 acres of oak-hickory forest and creeks in Athens-Clarke County. Milford Hills was the first conservation subdivision ALT has helped protect. A conservation subdivision is a residential neighborhood that incorporates greenspace for outdoor recreation and natural resource protection.
Mitchell Farm: 188 acres of cattle and hay farm near Farmington in Oconee County were purchased with help from a grant provided by the Georgia Land Conservation Program. Funding was also provided by the Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program, Oconee County, and the landowner, Sam Mitchell.
Mt. Burton: 110 acres of woods adjacent to the Chattahoochee National Forest in Habersham County. The steeply sloping property includes beautiful oak-pine forest, ferny glades, and masses of rhododendrons. The property drains into Shoal Creek, a trout stream and local source of drinking water.
Odom: 1,050 acres of longleaf pine, black-water streams, and wetlands in Crisp County. This property contains extensive habitat for the federally-protected gopher tortoise. The land has been in the Odom Family for over 140 years. A partnership with the Georgia Conservancy
Pharr: Landowner, William Pharr, has protected 227 acres in Morgan County. The Conservation Easement safeguards 100 acres of oak-hickory forest, 81 acres of working forest and 1.5 miles of Blue Line streams. The property is managed for agriculture and recreation.
Pinecrest: 30 acres of hardwoods and pines as part of Pinecrest neighborhood in Athens-Clarke County. Recently, UGA Landscape Architecture students assisted the Pinecrest Neighborhood Association with an outreach project in the neighborhood.
Powers/Breedlove: 133 acres of prime Oconee County farmland are now permanently preserved as farmland with a conservation easement. The tract is part of a 200-acre, fourth-generation family farm that includes a pecan grove, historic farmhouse, and outbuildings.
Quail Preserve: 199 acres of forest and wetlands with black-water cypress swamps along the Little Ogeechee River in Effinham County. This easement was donated by landowner Ray DeMott. This property contains many important native grasses and wetland plants that provide habitat for birds.
Rattlesnake Ranch: 257 acres of Morgan County land preserves the historic Balance Rock, 4 acres of granite outcrops, 180 acres of hardwood forest and mature bottomland forest along 2 miles of Hard Labor Creek and its tributaries.
Shelnutt Farm: 42 acres of working farmland in Oconee County. The Shelnutt farm has been operated by five generations of Shelnutts since 1892. This easement is adjacent to the Boulder Springs Subdivision, which is protected by the Oconee River Land Trust.
Sheth: ALT’s first easement in Barrow County protects 31.5 acres of beautiful wetlands, lake, and forest. The easement was donated by Dr. Jagdish Sheth of Barrow Holdings, LLC. The protected lake is important as a water supply for the city of Statham.
Sheth-Carnesville: This 64-acre oak-hickory forest is just outside the small historic town of Carnesville in Franklin County. The easement allows very limited development and protects a substantial wetland with creeks and riparian buffers. The easement protects water quality and plant and animal resources.
Stangle: 18 acres of mature oak-hickory forest that are part of 600 acres of protected land along the middle Oconee River in Athens-Clarke County. This property connects with 581 acres of protected forest land (including 39 acres in the Kenney Ridge neighborhood and the 542-acre Tallassee property).
Stephens: The Bronikowski family has conserved 120 acres of local farm and forest land along Little Toccoa Creek, an important trout stream. This land can be viewed from Mt Currahee and is within the Chattahoochee National Forest in Stephens County.
Stripling: 531 acres of Charles Stripling’s family farm in Mitchell County is a model for an ecologically managed working forest. This conservation easement includes bluffs and blue springs along the Flint River, as well as dune habitat, home for the endangered blue tortoise and blue indigo snake.
Tallassee: 232 acres of mature hardwoods, hollies, and streams along the Middle Oconee River in Athens-Clarke County are protected by two easements. This tract is part of 542 protected acres along the Middle Oconee River.
Turkey Bluff: 502 acres of agricultural and timber land in Screven County. The easement includes 3 miles of black water swamps along Brier Creek, 170 acres of oak hickory forest, and longleaf pine/sandhill scrub habitat for gopher tortoise.
Union Church: 44 acres of managed and natural forest with horse riding trails in Oconee County.
Wiley Farm: 168 acres of working family farm in Walton County are protected by two easements. Since 1968, Dale Wiley has been farming the land that his grandparents bought as sharecroppers in 1919.
Winder: ALT’s first property donated in fee simple, this 15.2 acre greenspace is located in a commercial/industrial area of downtown Winder. Athens Land Trust is working on improving the site as valuable greenspace in an otherwise developed area, sheltering small animals, migrating and resident songbirds, and providing visual relief for people in the area.
York: 36 acres of mature hardwood forest and a half-mile along Shoal Creek in Oconee County. The York family home is on the property and retains the right for passive recreation. There are many native woodland species on the property, including blue bottle gentian.
York-Hancock: This beautiful 1,484.5 acre tract in Hancock County is a certified American Tree Farm. The majority of the easement consists of planted stands of loblolly pine where fox squirrels, a species of concern in Georgia, forage in the clearings along with northern bobwhite quail.