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Barrow named a 2014 preservation hero

POSTED: June 30, 2014 5:45 p.m.

The Library of American Landscape History has named Craig Barrow III as its 2014 preservation hero.

Barrow, who lives in Savannah and is an Effingham County property owner, was honored for extraordinary stewardship of his historic family property, Wormsloe Plantation, forging creative research partnerships to explore the land’s multiple dimensions and values, which include ecology archaeology, geology, and landscape history and establishing mechanisms to support continuing research and preservation.

Barrow began his journey to leadership in historic landscape preservation in 1978, when he became the ninth generation of his family to inherit Wormsloe Plantation, a 278-year-old agricultural property on the Isle of Hope, near Savannah.

The plantation’s coastal marshes and inland forests offer not only restorative beauty but also are a rich habitat for migrating birds and butterflies, and layers of human history, from Native American shell middens to Confederate earthworks and formal gardens.

These diverse resources make Wormsloe Plantation “one of the most significant historical, archaeological, and natural sites in Georgia and the entire Lowcountry,” according to environmental historian Paul S. Sutter. Its historical integrity exists largely because of long-term family stewardship, beginning with Barrow’s ancestor Noble Jones, who founded the plantation in the 1730s.

When Barrow and his wife, Diana, started planning for the property’s future, they tapped environmental educator Sarah Ross, then of NOAA, and Daniel Nadenicek, dean of the College of Environment and Design at the University of Georgia.

One result was Barrow and Ross founding the Wormsloe Institute of Environmental History to conduct interdisciplinary research, in 2007. Six years later, Barrow authorized the family’s Wormsloe Foundation to donate 15 acres to create the University of Georgia Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe.

Researchers have access to more than 1,200 acres comprising the original plantation and 10,000 historic records documenting the landscape at the university’s De Renne Library, founded by members of Barrow’s family.

“Craig has creatively aligned the resources of diverse organizations to uncover every layer of human and ecological history in this property, preserve   them, and share the research with the public,” said LALH Executive Director Robin Karson. “His thoughtful leadership has opened new paths for historic landscape preservation.”

“With all the great people deserving of this honor I am humbled that I was chosen, which surely will assist me in my stewardship of Wormsloe,” Barrow said.

A profile of Barrow in the 2014 issue of VIEW, the LALH annual magazine, tells more of his story.

Founded in 1992 in Amherst, Mass., LALH fosters understanding of the fine art of landscape architecture and appreciation for North America’s richly varied landscape heritage through LALH books, exhibitions, and online resources. LALH books are informative, engaging, and priced affordably, thanks to the generous gifts of our supporters.

For more information, visit www.lalh.org.

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