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Contact: Nancy Walther, 678-538-1200
ATLANTA - Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) today announced that it has accepted a 22-acre land donation from The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to expand the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The land, worth $1.45 million and located at the foot of the historic Rogers Bridge in Johns Creek, protects more than 850 feet of the Chattahoochee and will be the future anchor for National Park Service (NPS) trails and green space.
NPS and TPL will celebrate the donation of this land on September 24, 2011 at 10 a.m., with a program at the site that will include local leaders and family fun. Activities will include a scavenger hunt, Frisbee exhibitions, history and wildlife presentations as well as refreshments donated by Whole Foods. The event will take place on National Public Lands Day to raise awareness and appreciation of our public lands.
Debra Edelson, Chattahoochee River Program manager for the Trust for Public Land said, "For ten years, we worked to save this land because of its beauty, historic bridge and importance to creating a network of green spaces along the river; this donation is another important step in turning that vision into reality."
The property donated today is one-half of a 44-acre parcel which had been approved for building 32 homes. The Trust for Public Land bought the first 22 acres last June and sold them to NPS, which used money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Money for the LWCF does not come from taxpayers, but from funds paid by oil companies to lease oil and gas lands on federal property.
Patty Wissinger, Superintendent of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, said, "This new donation of 22 acres is one more example of how The Trust for Public Land and the National Park Service continue to work together to conserve, expand and enhance the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and other special places in Georgia. TPL's gift is a giant step towards the preservation of green space along the Chattahoochee River and creates a legacy for future generations. The National Park Service is grateful for TPL's leadership and diligence in pursuing this property."
Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker said, "The City of Johns Creek, its neighborhoods and businesses benefit from the donation of this natural oasis in the midst of suburban development in the north Atlanta corridor. We are thrilled our citizens will enjoy access to the Chattahoochee River, and family days along the river."
The land is part of the historic farm owned by the Rogers family, one of the pioneering families in the communities north of Atlanta. "We are delighted with the conservation of this parcel and the proposed connected green space along the Chattahoochee as part of our family heritage," said Michael Rogers, a Johns Creek resident and family spokesman. The Rogers worked the land as a farm through the years and still own 300 acres next to the newly protected land. The Rogers land includes a farmhouse built in 1838, one of the oldest in the state.
The bridge, the longest single-span bridge in Georgia, was built in the early 20th century, and is a rare example of an unaltered Pennsylvania Design pin-connected metal truss. Due to the rarity and unaltered example of the design, Rogers Bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.