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Langford Urges Community to Conserve Green Space for Future Generations

Published Sep 16, 2008

The Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia held its 11th annual member meeting at Big Canoe this past Saturday. The event was well attended with over 200 people participating in a silent auction, green business expo and a catered meal. This year’s keynote speaker, Jim Langford, gave an inspiring talk about the importance of conserving green space. Mr. Langford reflected on a project he initiated in the early 90’s to link archeological sites through bicycle and pedestrian pathways in Gordon County. 

Local opposition came forth and the county decided to shelve the project and return $3 million in funding. A project before its time, it planted the seed for a “connected park system” in the Atlanta area. Mr. Langford played a key role in the city’s BeltLine initiative, combining “green space, trails, transit, and new development along 22 miles of historic rail segments that encircle the urban core.”

Mr. Langford pointed out that the funding for green space is often at odds with infrastructure expenditures such as sewage, schools and roads. He stated that counties view infrastructure as support for growth and development in their counties. However, green space should and can be viewed as infrastructure too. Residents will seek out counties where maintaining green space has been a priority.

The MillionMile Greenway takes the Beltline one step further, creating the possibility and vision for green space connected across the entire United States. The non-profit organization provides tools to citizens, government, and non-profits groups to help them create and maintain green space in local communities.

Mr. Langford ended his talk encouraging all to work to conserve green space and leave a legacy for future generations. It is important to conserve each individual piece of land, but more importantly, to be an example of good stewardship and lead the way for the future.

For more information about the MillionMile Greenway, visitwww.millionmilegreenway.org

and Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia atwww.mctga.org

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