In 1999, Governor Roy Barnes announced the Georgia
Community Greenspace Program, an initiative to permanently protect
20% of rapidly developing counties and municipalities as green space.
Funded in 2000 by the Georgia legislature, the program provided $30
million in its first year for local governments to acquire and protect
land. The Institute of Ecology Office of Public Service and Outreach
helped several local governments prepare their initial applications
and plans for greenspace protection, including Jackson, Hall, Cherokee
and Macon-Bibb Counties.
In January 2004 Governor Sonny Perdue announced the formation of a
new program, the Georgia
Land Conservation Partnership. The comprehensive land conservation
plan will summarize the need for land conservation, describe and identify
the most vulnerable and valuable areas for protection, establish goals
for land conservation, and develop and describe strategies for land
protection. Included in the plan will be specific strategies for statewide
conservation, community greenspace programs, and state, regional, and
local partnerships with private individuals, corporations, foundations,
land trusts, and conservation organizations. River Center Co-Director
Laurie Fowler and Distinguished Fellow Pierre Howard were named to this
partnership, which reported its recommendations in August 2004.
appoints River Center's Fowler and Howard to Georgia Land Conservation
Georgia Land Conservation Partnership Plan: A Report to Governor Sonny Perdue, August 2004, Georgia Land Conservation Partnership Advisory Council. Report proposes a state land coservation plan that emphasizes partnerships with local governments, the private sector, and other institutions for a cooperative movement to achieve appropriate land conservation goals. (PDF)
In 2004, staff economist Nanette Nelson authored two papers on the
economic impacts of land use decisions. In November she published Evaluating
the Economic Impact of Community Open Space and Urban Forests: A Literature
Review, a study funded by Urban and Community Forest Grant
Assistance Program administered through the Georgia Forestry Commission.
In March, she completed a USFS-funded study of the economic effects
of different greenspace protection tools, Estimating
the Economic Benefit of Landscape Pattern: An Hedonic Analysis of Spatial
Landscape Indices and a Comparison of Build-Out Scenarios for The Protection
of Ecosystem Functions with co-authors Liz Kramer, Jeffrey Dorfman,
and Bill Bumback .
In 2002 Ms. Nelson received a grant from the Urban and Community Forestry
Program administered through the Georgia Forestry Commission to research
the effects of trees on property values. Her findings are compiled in
the report The
Potential for Community Forests to be Self-Financing: An Hedonic Analysis
of the Enhancement Value of Georgia's Trees.
In 2001-2002 the office worked with Lose Associates and Greenways,
Inc. to prepare a long-term comprehensive greenspace protection plan
for Gwinnett County. The Gwinnett
County Open Space and Greenway Master Plan was named the "Outstanding
Planning Document of 2002" by the Georgia Planning Association.
(View press release)
In 2001 the Office of Public Service & Outreach was awarded a grant
by the Georgia Forestry Commission to identify opportunities to regionalize
the separate greenspace plans developed by the Upper Etowah and Lake
Allatoona Counties in order to more effectively protect water quality
and biodiversity. The Etowah Regional Greenspace
Plan is being created by graduate students in the MS in Conservation
Ecology degree program and the Etowah Practicum. Their proposed design
won a national competition. (View press
Community Green Space Program: A report of the Community Green Space
(click on map to view larger version)