Thanks to the purchase of 7 acres near Atlanta Hwy, a tract named
the Rowland Natural Area and Preserve will become the keystone for a new greenway stretching from Ben Burton Park off Mitchell Bridge Road to the shops and restaurants in the Beechwood neighborhood.Well played, Clarke county!
"It's hugely significant, because that's your entry point," county Commissioner Carl Jordan said. "It's your gateway."
The tract probably would have been developed as apartments if the county had not stepped in to buy it, county Natural Resources Administrator Mike Wharton said.
Now, it will serve as a buffer between the river and surrounding developments, a green gateway for visitors entering Athens and one of the bookends to a new trail to allow westside residents to walk or bike while avoiding the car traffic along the city's busiest road.