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Forsyth County land added to Chattahoochee recreation area
Labor Day Features 1 es
Shawn Dollar paddles around the waters of the Chattahoochee River just below Buford Dam. - photo by Emily Saunders

Nearly 20 acres in south Forsyth County will be added to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

The Trust for Public Land and National Park Service recently announced the addition of 18.2 acres of riverfront property would be added to the Bowman’s Island Unit of the area and would be used for walking, biking, hiking and access to the river.

“Protecting this vital land with access to the river is the latest success in The Trust for Public Land and our partners’ 20 years of work on the Chattahoochee,” George Dusenbury, Georgia state director for The Trust for Public Land, said in a news release. “The Trust for Public Land continues to work with the National Park Service on expanding the Bowman’s Island Unit, which is one of the most scenic portions of the river. We hope even more people will be drawn to enjoy and care for this incredible outdoor destination.”

The area around the island has the only class 2 rapids on that portion of the river.

The trust purchased the land in 2017 from former owner Ron Green, who was pleased the land had been added for the public to enjoy.

“The acquisition of the former Green tract will allow for the eventual creation of a riverfront trail on the Forsyth County side of the river from Buford Dam to Highway 20. We are extremely appreciative of landowners who are willing to allow their land to become part of the legacy of the National Park Service, and the outstanding efforts of the Trust for Public Land in bringing transactions such as this together. The Trust for Public Land continues their long tradition here in Georgia and the Metro Atlanta area in particular, of improving the quality of life for all by acquiring these important conservation lands," said Bill Cox, superintendent of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in the release.

The land was purchased using funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“Preserving Georgia’s extensive natural beauty and resources requires the kind of deep commitment and strong partnership we are fortunate to have here at home,” District 7 Rep. Rob Woodall said in the release. “I’m proud to support the work being done through The Trust for Public Land at the federal and local levels, and look forward to continuing the success we’ve achieved to this point.”

Since 1996, the trust has partners with local state and federal agencies and other organizations to preserve more than 18,000 acres of Chattahoochee River land from headwaters north of Helen to Columbus.

“As members of Congress and residents of Georgia, it is important that we look for opportunities to protect our land to ensure that our natural spaces will be preserved for future generations,” said U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson in the release. “I thank the Trust for Public Land and the National Park Service for their efforts to create and expand the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area.”