Gwinnett County is the second most populated county in Georgia, following Fulton County which includes Atlanta. Gwinnett is located to the northeast of Atlanta and connects to it through Interstate 85.
Gwinnett is 437 square miles in size with 4 square miles of water, and had a population of over 800,000 as of 2009. Gwinnett is home to 7 cities and 2 unincorporated areas. It’s county seat is in Lawrenceville. The city of Suwanee was voted one of the Best Places to Live by Money Magazine in 2008.
Gwinnett County gets it name from Button Gwinnett, one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence. There is a statue of Button Gwinnett on top of the Mall of Georgia, the largest shopping mall in the Southeast.
Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is the largest school system in Georgia, with over 160,00 students enrolled. In 2010, GCPS won the prestigious Broad Prize, a million dollar prize awarded to the best school system in the nation.
The Gwinnett County Public Library system has 15 branch locations throughout the county. It was named Library of the Year by Library Journal magazine in 2000.
Gwinnett County has over 8,000 acres of parks, maintained by Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation. The county has continually added more parks, made possible through a Gwinnett sales tax increase program called SPLOST. The parks in Gwinnett won the Gold Medal award from the National Recreation and Park Association
Gwinnett is home to many small and mid-size businesses. A few large business are also headquartered in Gwinnett, including as NCR, Primerica, Waffle House, and America Megatrends.
Gwinnett County is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners, which has both legislative and executive authority within the county. The chairman of the Board is elected county-wide and serves in a full-time position. The other four Commissioners are elected from single-member districts and serve in part-time positions. The Board hires a County Administrator who oversees day-to-day operations of the county’s 11 executive departments. Gwinnett County also has a separate police department under the authority of the Board of Commissioners.
Gwinnett is home to a few minor league sports teams. The Gwinnett Braves are the AAA baseball team for the Atlanta Braves. The G Braves play at Coolray Field, near the Mall of Georgia. The Gwinnett Gladiators are affiliates of the Atlanta Thrashers and play at the Gwinnett Arena.
The Gwinnett Arena is a large, multipurpose facility also used as a musical venue and to host other amphitheater-type events.