Rowen Foundation Announces Partnership with the UGA College of Environment and Design


College will Help Evaluate Physical, Cultural Assets on Site

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (April 19, 2021) – The Rowen Foundation today announced a partnership with the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design to evaluate the physical and cultural assets of the land that will eventually be occupied by Rowen, a knowledge community that will bring together entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators at in Eastern Gwinnett County. This collaboration will ensure the preservation and optimization of the landscape’s historical features during Rowen’s planning phase.

According to Rowen’s leaders, the partnership with the College of Environment and Design is a vital step in caring for the site by achieving a deeper understanding of its natural and cultural history in line with two of the community’s values: stewardship and sustainability.

“As we plan for Rowen, we are committed to evaluating and preserving as many of the land’s historical features as possible,” said Mason Ailstock, president of the Rowen Foundation. “Generations have stewarded this site for agriculture and other uses, and as future caretakers we take our responsibility seriously to deeply understand the history and heritage of the property.”

The Rowen Foundation is coordinating with a team of professors and students from the College of Environment and Design to analyze the site’s vegetation, topography, spatial organization, land use and archaeological sites. The research provided will supply recommendations for the careful management of the historical features on the 2,000-acre community.

Mark Reinberger, a professor in the College of Environment and Design with more than 30 years of experience in architecture and historic preservation, will assist with the research.

“Understanding and respecting the historic landscape is relevant to each of Rowen’s three programmatic drivers – environment, medicine and agriculture – and activating these areas in the most effective ways,” said Reinberger. “Our work will help stories of the past inspire the advancements of the future.”

Reinberger will be working alongside Dan Nadenicek, the Constance Knowles Draper Chair of Landscape Architecture, and three graduate students from CED’s Master of Historic Preservation and Master of Landscape Architecture programs. The Gwinnett County Historical Society and several long-term local landowners will also contribute to the research.

This effort will align with the planning phase of Rowen. Rowen’s leaders anticipate that partnerships between the University of Georgia and other educational institutions in the state will be constant as Rowen is planned and developed in the decades ahead.

At the conclusion of the engagement – anticipated this June – the college will compile general land and family history, graphic and verbal documentation of significant standing structures and a comprehensive analysis of the location’s features. These narratives will be publicly available online at upon completion of the research.

About Rowen   

Proposed for nearly 2,000 carefully preserved acres along Highway 316 in Gwinnet County, Ga., Rowen is a visionary knowledge community that will bring together entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators at the intersection of the Atlanta, Athens and Gainesville metropolitan statistical areas and more than 50 research and educational institutions. A new multi-use concept designed to foster discoveries in agricultural, medical and environmental sciences, Rowen will build on the land’s rich history of thoughtful environmental stewardship, while changing the economic and social trajectory of Gwinnet, Georgia and our nation for generations. For more information, please visit

About Rowen Foundation   

Rowen Foundation is the independent, mission-driven, not-for-profit entity leading the planning and visioning of Rowen, a proposed innovation district in Gwinnet County, Ga. With its mission to be a catalyst for education, research, innovation and transformation, the foundation is responsible for project leadership and operations to ensure the long-term vision for Rowen is never compromised.

About the UGA College of Environment and Design   

The College of Environment and Design (CED) is nationally recognized for its innovation in design, planning, and preservation. While CED was established as an academic unit of the University of Georgia in 1969, landscape architecture courses have been taught at UGA since 1928, and is one of the oldest programs in the country. CED also offers degrees in historic preservation, urban planning and design, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. CED’s landmark characteristic is the integration of arts/design-based solutions with science and evidence-based solutions, which holistically address society’s most urgent, contemporary, real-life problems.


Brian Brodrick

Jackson Spalding