By Vivian Hodges
The Madison Morgan Conservancy (MMC) is in the process of updating the county’s Greenprint Plan. The conservancy is holding a series of meetings around the county to get public feedback before finalizing the plan. Two meetings have already been held in Bostwick and Rutledge last week. According to Chris McCauley, MCC director, the conservancy is working hard to update the plan that was put in place in 2004. According to the conservancy, The Greenprint Plan is a long-term strategy for the protection of Morgan County’s valuable natural, agricultural, and historic resources. According to the conservancy, The 2004 Greenprint Plan did a great job of accomplishing this, with the County Commissioners and the Conservancy highly relying on the plan to create the Greenprint Ramble, which protected over 3,500 acres of land through conservation easements. According to the Conservancy, the City of Madison also relies heavily on the Greenprint in the Transferrable Development Rights (TDR) program, and a variety of land trusts, preservation organizations, and state agencies, which use the Greenprints to gauge their interest in proposed preservation projects.
McCauley revealed that the new Greenprint Plan will be called the Morgan County Greenprint. According to McCauley, The MCC wants to hear from the public: young and old, new and native, black and white, rich and poor, to find the places that all people in Morgan County think are important to save for future generations.
According to the MMC, “While on the outskirts of the Atlanta-metro region, Morgan County has maintained its rural setting with small town charm, abundant greenspace, and its rich agricultural heritage. These aspects of the County contribute to the distinct quality of life found here. Through a public input-driven process, the 2004 Morgan County Greenprint Plan identified many of these important resources, including agricultural and forested land, significant historic properties and structures, scenic roads and views, and important ecological habitats. The Greenprint Plan has been used by local governments, landowners, land trusts, the Historic Preservation Division, and the Madison-Morgan Conservancy as a guiding document to facilitate the preservation of these special places. Since its adoption as part of the 2004 Comprehensive Plan, many of the preservation goals identified in the Greenprint Plan have been accomplished… over 3,550 aCres of farmland, timberland, water resources, wildlife habitat, and historic landscapes have been permanently protected through conservation easements; agritourism has increased through the publication of FARMeander, Georgia’s first agritourism farm trail and the development of Farmview Market; $500,000 has been raised through SPLOST for greenspace acquisition; and more than 64 percent of land continues to be agriculturally productive.”
To add your voice in the Greenprint Plan discussions, you can attend one of the upcoming meetings this summer. The next public forum will be held on Tuesday, July 11 at the Buckhead Fire Station, located at 4881 Buckhead Road from 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. The last meeting will be held on Thursday, July 13 at the Conservancy Office located at 125 S. Main Street, Suite C, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact the Madison-Morgan Conservancy at (706) 818-8046 or email the MMC at Greenprint@mmcGeorgia.org.