Nature preserve at Alexander Park will honor Ezzard family

As the above aerial image shows the 40.7 acre- property county officials are buying from Polly Ann Ezzard to add to adjacent Alexander Park as a nature preserve named in honor of the Ezzard Family (Special Photo)

As reported in the Gwinnett Daily Post

Alexander Park near Lawrenceville is getting its own nature preserve as well as a tribute to a key family in the area.

Gwinnett County commissioners agreed to buy 40.7 acres of land next to the 91-acre park for $3.7 million from Polly Ann Ezzard on Tuesday. The new addition to the park will be known as the Ezzard Nature Preserve at Alexander Park. The preserve will be dedicated in memory of Dr. Webster P. Ezzard and Dr. George P. Ezzard.

“We’re very excited about the Alexander Park expansion,” commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said. “It really is neat when a lot of different factors align. We’ve already got property there. It allows us to add to a very, very well-used park in an area that we know is going to continue to grow and the demands on the park are going to continue to grow.

And then also, there’s the neat idea that we can recognize some of the folks who had a big influence on the Lawrenceville area in particular. The Ezzard family has been involved in so many different things.”

Nash said the land will remain a passive area in the park, which already includes walking and nature trails, a lake, pavilions, a playground and an 18-hole disc golf course. In all, the addition brings the total acreage of Alexander Park up to 132 acres in the Old Snellville Highway and Scenic Highway area.

“Alexander Park is one of our most popular parks for walking and hiking, and we hope to expand the trail system in the future,” District 3 Commissioner Tommy Hunter said in a statement. “We appreciate the Ezzard family’s willingness to sell this property to Gwinnett County to be preserved as park land.”

As part of the purchase agreement, the county has agreed to make “every reasonable effort” to protect sugar maple, black walnut and magnolia trees which are growing on the property. Nash said some trails might be added.

Nash said the move to buy the land happened by happenstance and that she believed the family may have approached the county about selling it to become part of the park.

As is the case with the rest of the park, the land slated to become the nature preserve is bordered on one side by Old Snellville Highway and by the busy Scenic Highway corridor, near the Sugarloaf Parkway intersection, on the other.

“You’ve got a lady who is getting to a certain age and I’m sure she’s trying to make her estate easy to deal with, and she doesn’t need the property and it’s a question of when folks have held property for that long, they get to a point of making a decision of ‘Well, am I going to go for top dollar,’ which probably certain types of developments would have driven the price, or ‘Am I going to do something that I’m happy with.’ “

1 Comment

  1. I worked with both Ezzard’s along with allowing one of their family members to shadow me in Physical Therapy. They are a very respected family and the name will serve the park well, in addition to the Alexander name. Gwinnett County needs to reserve as much land as possible due to its population.

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