Purposeful Preservation

By Julie Butler-Colombini
Photos Courtesy Of Julie Butler Colombini

A collaborative effort by more than 20 national, regional, and local organizations provided enough labor and funding to restore a 29-acre preserve within the city of Gainesville, Ga.


Through private and public efforts, the Redbud Project established a native plant preserve for environmental study and public recreation in the city’s Linwood Nature Preserve. It serves as an open-air classroom for those seeking to learn about environmental conservation for soil-erosion control, stormwater runoff, wetlands restoration, climate control and energy conservation.

The project is designed to serve as a model for preserves across the nation. AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps sent two different teams of volunteers to build sustainable, low-impact trails and bridges as well as eradicate invasive plants. Local environmentalists worked hand in hand with volunteers to demonstrate proper trail construction techniques that can be implemented elsewhere.

Through extensive research and grassroots education, the project made great strides in raising awareness of the community’s rich natural habitats and the economic benefits of conservation. These natural habitats play an important part in Georgia, which ranks among the top-four states in the country for plant species per square mile and for rare, endangered, and threatened species.

--Information provided by Julie Butler Colombini, Marketing Communications Manager for Gainesville Parks and Recreation.