Project 28: Greenspace Acquisition Program

Project Summary

This project continues the goals and objectives of the ACCUG approved Greenspace program with a goal of permanently protecting 20% of ACCUG's land base. The Greenspace Acquisition program will provide funding for the acquisition of properties by the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government to permanently protect such properties for use as green space and to contribute to the ongoing development of a comprehensive, countywide green infrastructure as a component of the overall land base. This will continue an ongoing SPLOST 2005 project.

The purpose of the program is to create a green infrastructure system that permanently protects natural areas, including riparian zones, wetlands, steep slopes, neighborhood open space, forest lands, and farm lands, in a cost-effective way. Green infrastructure is a multi-purpose, inter-connected network of protected open spaces that also provides wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, and potential opportunities for passive recreation. The goals of the Greenspace Program are: flood protection; protection of cultural sites, heritage corridors, and archaeological and historic resources; protection of “prime and unique” agricultural and forestry lands; protection of riparian buffers and other areas that serve as natural habitat and corridors for native plant and animal species; provision of opportunities for both self-directed and interpretive programs leading to a greater understanding of the natural environment, cultural heritage, and preservation/conservation efforts; provision of recreation in the form of boating, hiking, camping, fishing, running, jogging, biking, walking, or similar outdoor activities; reduction of erosion through protection of steep slopes, areas with erodible soils, and stream banks; scenic protection; water quality protection for rivers, streams, and lakes; and wetlands protection.

Project Updates

M&C approved an additional 14.4 acres to be acquired and added to the Beech Haven Natural area and Preserve. The addition of this sale brought the total of the protected property to approximately 125 contiguous acres. 

M&C approved on February 4, 2020 of the acquisition of land for the Rock and Shoals Natural Area Expansion.  The Sales Option Agreement   included approximately 71 acres of property from the JACQUOT Corporation at 3950 Barnett Shoals Road. This tract includes 1240 linear feet of frontage along Cedar Creek. The cooperative effort with Georgia Finance Authority provided approximately 25% of the purchase price funding.  Closing has been completed.  Sustainability office to work with GADNR for final conservation easement. Remaining funds will be used to pay-off the two GEFA loans and thus closing out the project.

Key Project Statistics

  • Program Manager: Jacobs Engineering
  • Sponsor: Leisure Services
  • Original SPLOST Budget: $2,938,200
  • Total Cost: $2,192,277
  • Completion Date: August, 2020