ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – The University of Georgia is selling the Lake Blackshear property that they’ve owned for quite some time.
Dale Greene, Dean of the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, said they have an interesting development with very nice lakefront property in South Georgia, that has been in the care of the University of Georgia.
“Back in 1989, this property came to us from Mr. Charles Wheatley, who was a construction contractor. He had owned the property for a number of years, as a place to recreate, primarily quail hunt (and) host friends. It was a great gift to the school,” he said. “We’ve had it nearly 33 years now, so we have taken stands of timber through an entire rotation.”
Greene said the university has been doing a systematic careful view of lands that are under our management.
“(We have been) looking to see if we are managing it, managing those in a way that would support the school with the most sustainable income. (We’ve been) looking to see if we are managing it, managing those in a way that would support the school with the most sustainable income. And I think we shared with the local media a year ago that we were evaluating potentially a lakefront development, with the remainder of the forest remaining a working forest,” he said.
Greene added the decision came as the market continued to change for lakefront properties.
“We were getting some cold calls from folks asking about our interest in selling, so we looked into that option as well. And it’s pretty clear that given the appreciation of this property over the 30-plus years we’ve had it that we would better support the school by selling it, endowing the funds and using those annual revenues to support our teaching research and outreach missions,” he said.
Greene said taking care of the donor’s vision for the land donation is important to the University of Georgia.
“It very much is, and we were fortunate that Mr. Wheatley gave us the gift without restrictions on a sale. And without any restrictions on how to use it,” he said. “He wanted it to be used to best support the school and left that to our discretion. It’s just time to take advantage of these markets that we have today while they are still here.”
The money made for selling the land will go toward three missions set for the university.
“Research, teaching and outreach. So these funds would be endowed, meaning they would be invested and we would only touch then the annual revenue generated from the investments,” he said. “But they would help us provide teaching assistants, graduate teaching assistants in our classrooms, and research staff for our field studies, which help us support and improve management of natural resources. And to help deliver programs to Georgia citizens who are trying to manage their forest land holdings in a sustainable way.
Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.