Category Archives: Blog

We are done designing and flagging 12 miles of new multi-use trails at Talking Rock Nature Preserve!

BTJ map of TRBig News! We have now completed flagging for 11.86 miles of multi-use natural surface trails at Talking Rock Nature Preserve. Our cost to do this was about $1,000 per mile.

We are working with Pickens County to get their approval to build the first 5-6 miles of trails! We have about $75,000 allocated for that and can’t wait to get it going.

Something good is happening in Pickens County Georgia!

Follow the progress here and on the Talking Rock facebook page and give it a LIKE while you are there.

Trail time in Columbus. Have you registered?

Looking for some trail time at the Summit?

We’ve got you covered. Each day we offer classroom time AND options to walk, paddle, bike, run, ride, mountain bike, or raft your way through the trails of Columbus. See map here.

Register today

$100 for intriguing speaker sessions and trail time, plus two riverside parties!  All locations are walkable if you stay next door at the Marriott for $109. See trail-time workshop list below and select your options when you register in Eventbrite.

Eventbrite - Georgia Trail Summit 2017

Columbus trails collage

Thursday April 20

  • Raft the Hooch with Whitewater Express – 10:00 am
  • Walk history of the Riverwalk en route to Chattahoochee River Club deck – 5:00 pm

Friday April 21

  • Trail run with Big Dog Running – 6:30 am
  • Bike Connections: Riverwalk>Dragonfly>Fall Line Trace – 2:30 pm
  • Walk history of the Riverwalk en route to Eagle & Phenix river deck – 5:00 pm

Saturday April 22

All Saturday workshops are at 9:30 am, please choose one:

  • Bike Callaway Gardens Discovery Trail
  • Stroll our Tree Canopy of Trees Columbus
  • Paddle the Hooch from CSU’s Oxbow Nature Center
  • Mountain bike Flat Rock Trail
  • Equestrian trail ride at FDR Park
  • Walk the MLK Heritage Trail
  • Geocache along the Riverwalk
  • Bike the Riverwalk>Dragonfly>Fall Line Trace

Georgia trail enthusiasts will flock to Columbus for annual spring summit

cva-sorba-eventPlans to create 60 miles of trails or alternative transportation paths in Columbus have finally gained momentum.

2016 Quick Recap

Thanks to many generous supporters we were able to acquire 12 new properties and 3 conservation easements totaling 5,000 acres protected at sites across our service area.

We earned accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance. This rigorous 18 month process improved and verified our organizational excellence. Learn more about Accreditation: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/

We donated The Boot Nature Preserve to Douglas County, Georgia. The 80-acre tract is beautiful natural land along a little lake. Douglas County has already begun transforming it into a passive recreation park for the public.

We became the presenting sponsor of the 2017 Georgia Trail Summit. Registration is open at GTS2017

We began our first major park build at Talking Rock Nature Preserve. Phase 1 will about 6 miles of natural surface multi-use trails. We plan to add 6 additional miles of trails, a disc course, and park amenities.

At Bald Mountain Creek Nature Preserve in Northwest North Carolina, we funded the removal of a culvert stream crossing and replaced it with a bridge.  Local “friends of the nature preserve” completely handled the project for half of the expected cost.  It’s an important improvement for the stream and its native brook trout.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

We care about you on GA Gives Day

gacnp_cmyk_logo_2016_990STPAL cares about you on Georgia Gives Day and that’s why we conserve land.

Funding will support our efforts to design a story map about STPAL properties, lead a volunteer build of park trails, plant pollinator gardens, host nature programs and more. With dozens of parcels of conserved land envisioned for public use and environmental education, we are committed to conserve and activate these Georgia spaces for you!

15,000+ acres
23 properties (19 more coming)
in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

To donate, visit https://www.gagivesday.org/c/GGD/  and type STPAL in the search bar!

Georgia Trail Summit joins STPAL, forming new, winning partnership

ATLANTA –  The Georgia Trail Summit is maturing.  Now in its fourth year, the popular conference for Georgia’s trail community is moving under the new wing of a strong land conservation group.

Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land (STPAL), founded in 2011, will assume fiscal and administrative responsibilities for the Georgia Trail Summit (GTS), making it their signature annual event by providing a new home for its future success.  The synergies between both groups will make each one stronger and even more effective. In the process, a full-time position was created for Trail Summit director Tracie Sanchez who previously chaired the event as a volunteer for the first three years.  In her new role as director of community engagement and outreach for STPAL, her time will be divided between planning and implementing the Georgia Trail Summit, her top priority, and increasing awareness for STPAL’s innovative work creating public parks, conserving natural land, and encouraging environmental education.

tas-btj“As a proven leader in Georgia’s trail community, Tracie’s skills are an ideal fit to enhance STPAL’s mission while continuing to build valuable partnerships as we strengthen and grow the Georgia Trail Summit,” explains Bill Jones, executive director of STPAL and founding member of the Georgia Trail Summit.  “Our work at STPAL dovetails beautifully with the vision of the Trail Summit.”  Their goal is to encourage a connected trail network in every corner of the state.  Jones adds, “Many of STPAL’s properties are ideal for both linear parks and trail networks which complement and accelerate the Trail Summit’s mission.”

The 2017 Georgia Trail Summit is set for April 20-22 in Columbus, site of the longest urban whitewater course in the world and other trail-friendly projects. The 2017 Summit’s theme is Plan. Fund. Build. Manage.

About the Georgia Trail Summit:  The Summit attracts about 200 people every spring for an informative, three-day event featuring outstanding speakers, mobile workshops highlighting the host city’s trails, and networking parties.  Their vision is to help groups build a connected, statewide trail system in every corner of the state bolstered by collaboration, sharing resources and knowledge.

Previously, MillionMile Greenway served as the 501 c3 umbrella organization for the Georgia Trail Summit and donated the initial seed money to launch the first one in 2014.  “It’s terrific to see this Summit blossom from an all-volunteer effort, funded by sponsors like MillionMile Greenway, to evolve into a STPAL project with a budget and long-range plan,” says Jim Langford, president of MillionMile Greenway and founding member of the Georgia Trail Summit. Sponsorships from companies, government agencies and trail-related nonprofits will continue to be an essential revenue source for the Georgia Trail Summit.

A new park in Douglas County Georgia!

On June 15, 2016 we donated 85 acres of conservation land to Douglas County, Georgia for a new passive recreation park. Douglas County budgeted funds for a new passive park. We had land available for a new park. And now they have the land and the money. A new public park will soon be built!

This is a great deal for current and future Douglas County residents. Free is a fine price for their taxpayers! And the trees and critters that live on the site don’t mind either!

Much thanks to Douglas County Commissioner Mike Mulcare who came to us with a vision and for seeing it through to this great day. He is a big fan of parks and green-space and is leading the way for Douglas County to become known as a parks community.

We are thrilled and can’t wait to visit the new park once it is completed!

0_PumpkintownRd_location0a DSC00007

Newsletter Spring 2016

Stpal newsletter spring 2016 pdf

It has been an incredible 6 months for STPAL! 
We are accredited! STPAL undertook the important process of applying for Accreditation status through the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. This process took us about two years from the very start until we were notified in February. The process is rigorous, time consuming, and challenging. It takes a deep look into all aspects of our work including our finances, policies, procedures, transactions, and acumen. It involved submitting hundreds of documents, interviews, and then more documents. It uncovered our weaknesses and provided a process for systemically addressing them. The end result of being Accredited is a nice feather in our cap, but the process itself has made us a much better organization. Because we own land that is permanently conserved we need to be permanent too. The Accreditation process has made us into an organization that will be just as permanent as our conservation lands. Check back in 5 years when we do it all again with the Reaccreditation process!