Georgia Community Greenspace Program
The Georgia Community Greenspace Program, passed into law under Governor Roy Barnes in 2000, encouraged rapidly developing counties to voluntarily set aside 20 percent of their land as "greenspace." Although funding for the program ceased in 2004, the Georgia Community Greenspace program was revolutionary because it codified the concept of greenspace, acknowledged the detrimental aspects of urbanization, and emphasized the responsibilities of local governments to preserve land as a means of maintaining quality of life.
Greenspace was defined under
The local, urban orientation of the Georgia Community Greenspace program
The Georgia legislature allocated $90 million ($30 million per year) from 2001 through 2003 for the acquisition of county greenspace. The funds, held in a trust, were available to fast-growing local governments that could demonstrate a commitment to preserving 20 percent of county land as greenspace and could produce acceptable greenspace plans. Not all governments were able to acquire land, however, and some monies were returned to the state. The program was not funded in 2004 because of decreases in state revenues.
In December 2003 Governor Sonny Perdue signed an executive order establishing an advisory council for the Georgia Land Conservation Partnership, which was charged
The new law created a trust fund and a loan fund, both administered by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, a state agency established in 1985 to provide financing for a variety of environmental improvement and infrastructure projects. The Georgia Greenspace Commission (which was responsible for reviewing and approving greenspace programs for the Community Greenspace Program) was reconstituted as the Georgia Land Conservation Council. The Georgia Land Conservation program is open to all local governments rather than just rapidly developing ones, with competition among local entities for funding based on the demonstrated ability to purchase and protect greenspace.
Connie P. Gray et al., Greenspace: Evaluating, Restoring, and Managing Natural Areas in the Atlanta Vicinity (Atlanta: Trees Atlanta and The Georgia Forestry Commission, 2004).
Leslie Edwards, Atlanta
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.