UGA sells Lake Blackshear property to benefit forestry program

Published 11:39 am Thursday, July 6, 2023

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ATLANTA – The University of Georgia has sold the largest undeveloped parcel on Lake Blackshear to an undisclosed buyer for $18.5 million.

The money will go to benefit UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

The university received the 2,500-acre property in 1989 as a donation from businessman Charles Wheatley. It’s been used since then for timber and hunting, yielding $8.2 million from timber sales and other investment earnings.

“After years of stewardship, we felt the market was in a good place,” Dale Greene, the Warnell school’s dean, said Wednesday. “We are very pleased with the outcome, and the funds from the sale will be transformative for our school as we prepare the next generation of foresters and natural resources professionals.”

The school plans to create three separate funds from the land sale. One fund will be dedicated to modernizing the campus facilities in Athens. The other two will be established as endowments to allow the school to benefit in perpetuity.

“It means our faculty can find dedicated support for lab improvements or technology advances,” Greene said. “This kind of funding gives our faculty added flexibility when pursuing research funding and special projects, or in recruiting top talent for graduate students.”