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Sunday May 3rd, 2015 2:02PM

2nd Gainesville nature preserve listed as National Community Forest

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - Linwood Nature Preserve has been designated a Community Forest by the Old-Growth Forest Network, a national organization that encourages preservation of forests throughout the United States for recreation and wildlife habitats.<br /> <br /> The nature preserve is currently being developed by the Redbud Project for Gainesville Parks and Recreation to serve the community for leisure recreation and nature education. <br /> <br /> Although of smaller acreage than forests like Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve and others listed nationally in the Old-Growth Forest Network, founding director Dr. Joan Maloof has recognized the 30-acre urban forest for the "exceptional biodiversity of its ecosystems and ready access to residents of the community."<br /> <br /> Chicopee Woods was added to the network earlier this year.<br /> <br /> Linwood Nature Preserve joins only seven other community forests currently recognized in the United States, including Tennessee, New York, Michigan, California, Vermont, Washington and Delaware. For more information about the Old-Growth Forest Network, and to see the list of the other forests, visit www.OldGrowthForest.Net.<br /> <br /> Linwood Nature Preserve is located on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers protected cove of Lake Lanier. The City of Gainesville purchased a 14-acre portion of the preserve in 2002 with the Georgia Governor's funding for green space in perpetuity, by deed, and designated it as Linwood Nature Preserve of Gainesville Parks and Recreation. The site was expanded by the transfer of custodianship of 15 acres from City Public Utilities to City Parks and Recreation, allocation of an off-line water treatment pumping station building, and purchase of a one-acre private estate.<br /> <br /> To develop the site for public use, a two-mile trail system, designed by the Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis by the University of North Georgia, has been constructed for easy access using environmentally sound techniques. Rain gardens have been developed to model best practice for stormwater runoff control. A native plant refuge and arboretum are being developed for education in plant identification and use in residential and commercial landscapes. The preserve was recently certified as an Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary.<br />
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