Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
Creating Heritage Area has been the work of many years and many dedicated groups and individuals. A few years ago Mr. Kelly Jordan, The Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance Chair, shared with the monastery a dream of creating a large area of greenspace to help protect nearby Arabia Mountain, then Panola Mountain, the South River, and finally the monastery as well. He was able to bring together a diverse group of citizens and local governments to form a coalition to work towards national recognition of a precious piece of Georgia. There are 37 national heritage areas in the United States - a federal designation, which must be approved by Congress.
In the fall of 2006, the Federal Government signed into law the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. This green space ties together up to 7,000 acres of public and private lands and protects natural and cultural resources including a part of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit property. This designation will certainly help us to continue to protect our property while at the same time opening a portion of it to public access. Plans include a walking/bike trail that will go from the monastery property all the way to Alabama.
The proposed path for the Heritage Area will make its way down South River across our existing property and finally ending at this new location. The monastery has been designated as a key Gateway for the Heritage Area and this property will serve as its entrance. It is a beautiful piece of creation and we are happy that it will be perpetually protected. There are future hopes that an interpretive Nature Center may be placed here to educate the public about all the wonders of God's creation.
See: Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance website
See: Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area website for more details