Autrey Mill Nature Preserve And Heritage Center

The Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center is a city park, nature preserve and heritage center  located at 9770 Autrey Mill Rd, Johns Creek, GA 30022. The Park has been recognized as a Certified Green Community by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Council. The Park was opened in 1997 with 25 acres of land and now features 60 acres of green space that provides opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, bird watching and having picnics. The history of Autrey Mill goes back over 100 years when it was built as a sawmill to process cypress lumber into planks used in building houses throughout northern Georgia. The first owner was John Autrey who bought the mill from its original owner William Porter in 1867 for $2,300. During Autrey’s ownership of the mill he began using it to process other kinds of lumber besides Cypress instead. After his death in 1891 his daughter Lettie continued operating the mill until she sold it to William Porter again in 1917 for $4,500. After a few owners purchased the property during the 1920’s then after World War II there were no more owners until 1998 when it became part of Johns Creek city park system. Today Autrey Mill Nature Preserve is owned outright by Johns Creek government with no tenants or sub-tenants renting any portion of the property. Learn More

History of Autrey Mill and Heritage Center in Johns Creek, Georgia

The Autrey Mill and Heritage Center is located in Johns Creek, Georgia, 26 miles outside of Atlanta. Johns Creek was incorporated in 1982 and it was one of the first cities in Fulton County to be incorporated. Autrey Mill Park gets its name from the Autrey family who built and owned the mill. John Autrey bought the mill from William Porter in 1867 for $2,300. John Autrey had operated the mill since 1853 and is considered to be the first person in the area to produce cypress lumber. John Autrey’s son Lettie Autrey inherited the mill when he was only 6 years old and she ran the mill until her death in 1915. It was during Lettie Autrey’s time that the mill was used to produce other kinds of lumber other than cypress planks. After Lettie Autrey’s death the mill was then bought by William Porter again for $4,500. William Porter was the son of the man who bought the mill from Autrey a few years before. William Porter ran the mill until 1917 when the property was sold to John Davis. John Davis was the owner of the mill until 1972 when the property then was transferred to Johns Creek city park system.

How was Autrey Mill Park recognized as a Certified Green Community?

The city of Johns Creek recognized Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center as a Certified Green Community in 2008. The city partnered with the Nature Conservancy and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to offer the certification. The process of becoming a Certified Green Community required the Park to conduct a self-audit to ensure the Park was meeting or exceeding 10 LEED requirements. The certification by the LEED green building council recognizes the efforts that have gone into creating a Park that has been designed to use less energy, generate less waste, and is more environmentally friendly than most other parks. The Park has a water conservation/recycling program that has reduced water usage by 25%, has a green roof with 10 trees and shrubs, is designed to have less roof-top air-conditioning usage, and has more than one foot of soil to insulate the building from the ground heating it up.

The Benefits of Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center

The Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center offers a variety of activities. The green space provides a place for visitors to relax, read a book, and enjoy a picnic. The outdoor amphitheater is a popular place for public performances, weddings, and receptions. Autrey Mill Park also has a trail that leads through the woods, around lakes, and along the Chattahoochee River. The trail is lined with benches, gardens, and wildlife such as deer, turtles, and possums. The Heritage Center at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center is the city’s museum and history center. The Heritage Center is home to a variety of exhibits that celebrate Johns Creek’s rich history. One exhibit tells the story of William Porter, the man who bought Autry Mill and ran it until 1917 when the property was transferred to Johns Creek city park system. The Heritage Center also has an outdoor amphitheater that can be used for filming television programs.

The Future of Autrey Mill Nature Presreat and Heritage Center

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center is one of Johns Creek city parks that has not yet been built out. Currently the park has 60 acres of land and includes one of the largest freshwater lakes in the metro Atlanta area. The park plans to build the rest of the property out to include trails, hiking trails, fishing piers, a boardwalk, and nature trails. The park also plans to add interpretive signs, benches, and gardens along the walking trails. The next step for the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center is to complete the planning process for the park. Once the planning process is complete the city will apply for grants to build the park out. Once the park is developed the city can continue to use the green space for open-space activities. Next Article

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