The state director of the Trust for Public Land told board members of Vision 2030 on Tuesday that they are on the right track with their desire to see more greenspace in Hall County.
"The Vision 2030 effort is impressive by any standard," said Helen Tapp, who was the speaker at the planning group’s regular meeting. "It is absolutely the right thing for the community to be doing and it will pay dividends for decades to come."
Vision 2030, an initiative of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, grew out of a summit in March 2005. A series of public meetings followed, and the group issued a final report in June 2006. The plan was to create an overall vision or direction that residents would like to see for Hall County by 2030.
The community-based planning effort listed additional greenspace as one of its top goals to be implemented by the year 2030.
"Greenspace was something that was very important three years ago when we were taking input of all the citizens of the county," said Denise Deal, executive director of Vision 2030. "The feedback kept coming that we make sure to preserve what we have for future generations and create more spaces that people can get together and enjoy."
Tapp said a number of conservation efforts are under way, including an effort to preserve land along the Chattahoochee River.
"The Trust for Public Land has been involved since the mid-’90s in the Chattahoochee River protection program from Helen to Columbus, a stretch of 180 miles," she said. "Over 15,000 acres have been protected, including 3,000 in the last four years."
Tapp said an opportunity exists on the river near the Hall and White county lines.
"There are some particular spots near Mossy Creek, so we are trying to find land we can conserve there," she said.
Tapp said the spot, where Mossy Creek empties into the Chattahoochee, would be an ideal spot for canoes to enter and exit the river.
Tapp said the current economic climate has advantages and disadvantages for the conservation effort.
"The good news is that it chills the real estate market so some land that was at risk of inappropriate development is now available. It’s a matter of being able to rally the resources to secure and conserve it for the long haul," she said.
Other proposals identified by Vision 2030 include creating a culture of community wellness, supporting lifelong learning, promoting cultural integration, encouraging innovative growth and building an economy around life sciences industries.