Atlanta, GA   |


Our mission is to protect and conserve Georgia's natural resources for both present and future generations through advocacy, engagement, and collaboration. Our work for sound environmental policy, land conservation, a more sustainable built environment and outdoor stewardship recognizes the connection between the environment, the economy and our quality of life. We strive for a Georgia where both people and the environment thrive.

Ruling year info



Bart Gobeil

Main address

230 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 1250

Atlanta, GA 30303 USA

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NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GA faces mounting environmental pressures. Forecast population growth of 4 M by 2030 far outpaces previous experience despite some areas shrinking. Today, 60% of GA’s 10.5 M people live in metro Atlanta. Of the other 535 cities & towns, 391 are home to 10,000 or fewer. 91% of land is owned privately. Attainable/affordable housing options are an issue in most markets. Only 9% of GA is designated for conservation. Presently, GA is home to 65 threatened & endangered plant & animal species, as well as the largest swamp in N. America, the Okefenokee. A proposed mining operation currently threatens the swamp & St. Mary’s River. Climate change threatens coastal communities through anticipated sea-level rise, temperature increases, changing storm pattern/intensities & other issues. Currently, GA has no a statewide vision for ensuring long-term resiliency. Under current practices, anticipated growth will challenge nature's ability to keep pace at a level that maintains our quality of life.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Sustainable Growth

A growing population often means a decline in green space, air quality, and natural land. The Georgia Conservancy is working with communities to change that. We bring together planners, architects, home builders, transportation engineers, and community advocates to envision, plan and design better and more sustainable communities.

Our Sustainable Growth Program focuses its work in five areas:

BLUEPRINTS FOR SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITIES: Since 1995, Blueprints has helped dozens of Georgia communities continue to grow while protecting their natural resources. The Conservancy brings varying stakeholders, interdisciplinary specialists and members of the community together to envision communities that can sustain population growth and a natural environment. We have collaborated with cities and counties, Atlanta in-town neighborhoods, and in environmentally, culturally, and historically sensitive areas. Blueprints also includes a focus on regional issues such as sea-level rise, watershed sustainability, and transportation corridors.

GOOD URBANISM: Our popular smart growth planning seminar, Good Urbanism teaches government officials, neighborhood residents, urban planners and design professionals about the importance of creating sustainable communities. The courses are taught by dynamic lecturers, including faculty members from Georgia Tech's College of Architecture, and are geared towards the communities in which they are held.

THE HOUSING DIVERSITY INITIATIVE frames how we work with communities and government decision-makers to examine and recommend diverse housing options within a neighborhood, town, or city. The initiative includes public education on the importance of housing choice within a community as well as technical services identifying zoning and subdivision regulations that hinder housing variety. We also assist in identifying locations within a community appropriate for a mix of housing types through thoughtful infill and incremental development.

SCHOOL SITING: Because national trends have encouraged larger school sites to accommodate more students, Georgia’s children, teachers, and parents must travel farther each day, expending time and straining our natural resources. The Georgia Conservancy's school siting workshops bring together diverse stakeholders to learn how communities can work towards better and more collaborative siting of schools.

SMALL TOWN SUSTAINABILITY & RURAL RESILIENCY INITIATIVE: The Small Towns and Rural Resiliency project amplifies the Conservancy's understanding of the importance that private land conservation, sustainable growth planning, recreation, and eco-tourism play in small communities. Through our work, we identify what revitalization efforts have been successful in small towns, why they have been successful and how they can be applied more broadly to aid other communities.

Population(s) Served

The Georgia Conservancy’s Land Conservation Program works across the state on a varied portfolio of land conservation priorities. Our Land Conservation Program meets in tandem with our advocacy team, public officials, and their staff at all levels of government to secure their support, or to thank them for their support of land conservation funding and legislation. Our focus is related to the pressures on the environment seeing continued intense development affecting greenspace availability and access, watershed quality, tree canopy, and priority habitat and species protection.

In addition, we work to enable outdoor recreation opportunities in the state through our work with local governments in greenspace and recreation planning, training of best practices for conservation land acquisition, and lowering the barrier to entry for underserved populations interested in outdoor recreation participation. Since the inception of the Land Conservation Initiative in 2011, Georgia Conservancy's team has worked in a variety of advisory roles to help permanently protect or restore over 66,500 acres of Georgia's bio-diverse land.

Georgia Conservancy also originated and leads the Association of Georgia Land Trusts, a peer-exchange organization allowing the most active land trusts in Atlanta and the state to share success stories and align impact while building advocacy for conservation funding and other land protection tools. The land trusts secure 70% of all Georgia land conservation transactions annually, therefore, the Georgia Conservancy determined that administrative, policy and communication support among these land trusts was a critical leadership role for our organization, particularly as land conservation trusts and easements are generally underutilized.

Population(s) Served

Since 1967, the Georgia Conservancy has been guiding trips across the state, leading individuals into Georgia's natural areas for both recreation and service, and showcasing Georgia’s imperiled natural resources and providing the public with the opportunity to advocate for their protection. We use our network of partners and peers to provide access to barrier islands, river systems, and nature preserves that are often inaccessible or off-limits to the public.

Our Stewardship Trips and Service Program serves as our primary hands-on education platform, helping to broaden the public's understanding of the importance of protecting our rivers, streams, lakes, and forests while giving them unique opportunities to assist in their protection. Thanks to the involvement of individual and foundation supporters, our program has dramatically increased during the last five years. During the past year, we hosted nearly 3000 participants on our paddle, camping, hiking, biking, snorkeling, and service work events with a special emphasis on lowering barriers to entry for groups not historically active in the outdoors.

Our Stewardship Trips and Service Programs have a straightforward goal: to create a connection between some of Georgia’s stunning natural places and the people who can protect them. We believe that experiencing Georgia’s outdoor spaces and places set the foundation for people to become conservationists, mindful of the need to maintain and protect natural resources for the good of the environment and people alike. It is imperative to Georgia’s future that residents understand the ecological importance of the habitats they are visiting and leave with ideas for stewardship and sustainability activities they can undertake after the Georgia Conservancy event is over.

Georgia Conservancy currently seeks to deepen the long-term value of our educational offerings tied to the places we are visiting. For each site, we seek to develop materials focusing on site-specific environmental education, such as the most pressing issues facing conservation and preservation of flora and fauna, as well as the historical and cultural significance of the place.

Population(s) Served

The Georgia Conservancy has a long history of advocating for the preservation of Georgia’s natural resources at the local, state and federal levels.

Our advocacy team has decades of experience in state politics and is dedicated to using the political process to help protect our state’s precious natural places. We’re at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta every day of the legislative session pushing for conservation-minded bills and fighting against legislation that would roll back advancements that we and our partners have already made.

The Georgia Conservancy’s advocacy work doesn’t end when the final bell of the legislative session tolls. We’re working year-round on key issues, such as water resource protection, habitat restoration, land conservation, and sustainable growth.

It takes a special disposition to balance various relationships with elected officials and between partners, and interest not only in policy, but also in politics, process, and strategy. We take pride in our efforts to engage and collaborate with diverse groups of individuals and organizations to find common ground solutions to our state’s most pressing issues.

Through this approach, we have been successful in protecting some of our state’s most cherished landscapes, including Cumberland Island National Seashore, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and the Okefenokee Wilderness, as well as influencing the passage of some of our strongest natural resource protections, which include the Coastal Marshland Protection Act, the Erosion and Sedimentation Act, the Georgia Water Stewardship Act, and the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment (Nov. 2018).

The successes that we and our partners in conservation can claim have forwarded our vision of a Georgia where people and the environment thrive. However, advocating for the protection and preservation of Georgia’s natural resources is a job never-ending. It is a necessary task that relies upon the collaborative efforts of all who call our state home.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of trips provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Trips and Stewardship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Stewardship trips in Georgia - includes weekend excursions, day hikes and day paddles.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Georgia Conservancy’s vision, a Georgia where people and the environment thrive, drives our mission to: Protect and conserve Georgia’s natural resources through advocacy, engagement, and collaboration.

The Georgia Conservancy has 4 strategic goals, developed by the organization's board and staff with the support of outside consultant. The Board and staff were guided by the Board's strategic planning committee. The planning process included stakeholder interviews, focus groups, conversations with the board and the staff, and an environmental scan.

The strategic goals are to:

1. Protect, conserve, and restore Georgia’s land, water, and biodiversity.

2. Promote and implement sustainable practices throughout Georgia.

3. Remain Georgia’s leading statewide conservation organization.

4. Acquire the resources needed for long-term financial viability.

The Georgia Conservancy's guiding principles include:

1. The integrity of natural systems and the services they provide – air, land, water and the plants and animals they support – has value that must be protected, conserved, and restored for present and future generations.

2. Stewardship of Georgia’s natural resources is the responsibility of every individual, organization, government, and business.

3. A healthy environment and healthy economy are vital to a thriving society.

4. In conserving Georgia’s natural resources, we must understand a changing climate while respecting the demands of social and economic progress.

5. Principled advocacy calls for scientifically sound research, clearly defined objectives, inclusive participation, informed environmental education, and constructive negotiation.

6. Collaboration and public-private partnerships enable the achievement of our goals.

We seek to continue to continue to build momentum and deepen the impact of the Georgia Conservancy’s land conservation, sustainable growth, coastal protection, advocacy and stewardship trips programs, offering our state the long-term ability to sustain a healthy environment and support quality of life and economic opportunity for all citizens.

Our professional staff of 13 is well-qualified to carry out the work of our organization, led by Bart Gobeil, President. Bart served for 4 years at the Georgia Ports Authority, most recently as Sr. Director of Economic Development & State Government Affairs, developing and implementing regulatory, legislative and administrative strategies to support the customers, investors, and community partners of the East Coast’s second busiest port. There, he worked to negotiate and land more than $1 billion in investments from national and international retail and logistics providers. From 2011 - 2015, Bart was Chief Operating Officer for the State of Georgia, where he directed more than 60 State operational agencies and authorities. Bart is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Among his affiliations are Leadership Georgia, the Georgia Lottery Corporation Board, the Savannah Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, and the UGA Board of Visitors - Emeritus.

Katherine Moore, AICP, is Vice President, Programs & Sustainable Growth Director. She has served in the community development and environmental fields for over 20 years. As Director of the Sustainable Growth Program, a statewide offering, she provides training, technical expertise, and community engagement services on the topics of community resilience and planning. The program has worked with over 50 communities across Georgia, as well as nationally, and is putting new emphasis on the opportunities within housing choice, small town stabilization, and redevelopment to increase community resilience. Katherine’s professional experience includes 12 years as a private sector consultant. She is a graduate of Rutgers University, the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL), & serves on the Boards of Directors of the Douglas C. Allen Institute for the Study of Cities and the Architecture & Design Center. She regularly speaks on community design topics.

Charles H. McMillan III, Land Conservation & Coastal Director. Leading the coastal- and land-focused work of the Georgia Conservancy from its office in Savannah, Charles is advocates for land and coastal protection. He regularly works with local landowners, municipalities, nonprofit partners, and government officials across the state to find ways to tackle environmental issues through mitigation planning, ecological restoration and forward-thinking policy, as well as collaborative partnerships. Charles has been instrumental in reinvigorating the Association of Georgia Land Trusts, bringing together a group of 21+ organizations to network, collaborate and share information and resources to improve conservation in Georgia. A Vanderbuilt University graduate, McMillan is a retired civil engineer with experience working with property owners on a host of issues including service on the interagency prescribed burn team, ecological inventory of the longleaf pine ecosystem & assisting landowners on long term conservation issues.

Annually, the Georgia Conservancy’s programs work throughout the state in both natural and built environments, seeking to advance resilience and sustainability of natural resources. In the past year, we:

• Were a trusted advisor for nonprofits, county and municipal governments for housing choice education and technical assistance. 4 projects included a housing attainability focus, demonstrating the unique intersection our programs bring to a community as we provide technical assistance on both land and habitat protection, thoughtful growth, and development and revitalization that minimize environmental impact and support improved water quality.
• Continued supporting communities wanting to plan more environmentally and economically resilient cities and neighborhoods. Last year, we engaged with communities across 16 counties, presented our findings at 5 state-wide conferences and directly impacted the lives of 1.5 million Georgians.
• Sustained environmental education excursions and volunteer service projects. Nearly 3000 members and others paddled and hiked miles of rivers and paths in Georgia through overnight trips, day hikes, day paddles and service projects. Nearly 300 volunteers worked projects to deliver nearly 1000 volunteer service hours to our natural spaces.
• Continued to work to permanently protect 500,000 acres of bio-diverse land. Development is putting more pressure on our rivers and streams; posing a threat to biodiversity. We believe land conservation is a key to protecting our water resources, plants, animals and citizens. Last year, we fielded landowner inquiries from 23 counties across Georgia which led to 12,500 acres of land being permanently conserved.
• Originated the Association of Georgia Land Trusts.
• Successfully supported state passage of housekeeping legislation for the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act, monitored legislation creating an oyster mariculture industry in GA, and aided in making necessary amendments to the Shore Protection Act while avoiding potentially harmful exemptions originally included in the legislation. We also worked with a coalition of coastal entities to move passage of a House Resolution to oppose offshore oil and gas exploration off the coast. Overall, we monitored close to 50 pieces of legislation.
• Initiated a comprehensive programmatic collaboration to examine Georgia’s historic landcover change over the past 40 years to ascertain a baseline development picture. This will allow us to envision a variety of growth patterns & environmental impact scenarios for future decades. As one of the oldest conservation nonprofits in the state, and the only to house both land conservation and land use programs, Georgia Conservancy feels an imperative to engage a statewide audience through data and collaboration in envisioning a Georgia of the future where people and the environment thrive.
• increased environmental education opportunities during each Stewardship Trip, further enriching experiences.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
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Board of directors
as of 12/10/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Leslie Mattingly

Felicia Adkins


Brent Beatty

Aware Media Solutions

Mark Berry

Georgia Power Company

Hardie Davis, Jr.

Mayor, City of Augusta

Rick Downey

Regions Bank Capital, Retired

Randy Earley

Cox Enterprises

Patrice Francis

SW Atlanta Christian Academy

Steve Green

Stephen Green Properties

Virginia Harman

McRea, Smith, Peek, Harman & Monroe

Peter Hartman

Hartman Simons and Wood

Holden Hayes

South State Bank

Byron Kirkpatrick

Troutman Sanders

Mike LaFerle

The Home Depot

Leslie Mattingly

Private Counsel Attorney

Randal Morris

Georgia-Pacific Cellulose

Robert Morris

Georgia Ports Authority

PJ Newcomb

Coca-Cola North America

Amanda Olmstead

A Brown Olmstead Associates

Ranse Partin

Conley Griggs Partin

Russ Pennington

Impact Public Affairs

Steven Pohl

Novelis, Retired

Stacy Shailendra

Ansley Atlanta Real Estate

W. Stubbs

Hodges, Harbin, Newberry & Tribble

Charles Thomas

Engineer, Retired

Anita Timmons

Retired Teacher & Business Owner

Malon Wickham

Wells Fargo Advisors

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/09/2019

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/09/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.