By Tia Lynn Lecorchick and Jamison Hooks
Last weekend’s Greenprint Ramble, a tour that featured about 60 spots of historical significance or local interest throughout the county, yielded a huge turnout that culminated with a supper comprised of locally-grown food at the Ainslie Ardenlea Farm in Madison. The Madison-Morgan Conservancy sponsored the event. Andrew Ainslie, owner of the Ainslie Ardenlea Farm and Chair of the Morgan County Board of Commissioners, estimated that the Greenprint Ramble drew nearly 200 attendants. “We had a real good turnout. Everything just went perfect. The weather was perfect the crowd was perfect. Everything was just so pretty. And everyone had a great time,” said Ainslie. The event took Morgan County residents and visitors on a guided tour of the historic areas of the county during the afternoon. This year, ramblers had the opportunity to explore local sites including the last remaining Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC ) Camp in Georgia. “The Greenprint Ramble gets people out into parts of Morgan County they might not otherwise go. They get to see and hear about the places, resources, and people that are the backbone of this county, and they get to feast on some of the local food produced here,” said Madison-Morgan Conservancy Executive Director Christine McCauley. The Madison-Morgan Conservancy described this year’s ramble as an opportunity to, “follow the historic Dixie Highway to a stone smokehouse on the Ainslie’s Ardenlea Farm, and learn about the histories of the Davis, Hanson, Ballard, Malcom, Ainslie and West families.” “During this year’s tour, we’re actually going outside the county to see the new dam on Hard Labor Creek, which shows the importance of our upstream neighbors, and really the importance of all our neighbors – what happens to them usually affects us,” said McCauley. After the exploration, those on the ramble feasted on a dinner made completely of Morgan County ingredients. The dinner featured local foods such as cheese, veggies, fruits and meat provided by local Morgan County farmers. The Madison-Morgan Conservancy aims to educate the public on conservation matters in addition to the importance of protecting historic sites, greenspace, farmland, and timberland. “This year’s Greenprint Ramble comes at an important time, since Morgan County is embarking on their new Comprehensive Plan. The Conservancy is advocating that the Greenprint be updated along with the Comp Plan and included again as part of the Comp Plan. Morgan County’s Greenprint was the first county-wide Greenprint in the state and the first to be adopted as part of a Comprehensive Plan. We hope Morgan County will continue to be a leader in this kind of innovative long-term planning,” explained McCauley.