By Christina Cooke
The 30 people at the Greenways and Trails Healthy Challenges workshop today agreed that green space increases both a community’s health level and economic well-being. In honor of National Trails Day, city planners and conservationists from around the Southeast gathered at the Chattanooga Theatre Center to discuss ways to make green space happen in their hometowns.
“The goal of today is to encourage the people here to go back to their communities and make sure they’re designed for active living,” said Anne Marshall, manager of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
The department organized the workshop in conjunction with the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department and the engineering firm Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon.
Participant Marc Hunt, who works for the Open Space Institute, is involved in establishing greenways in Asheville, N.C. He said he learned at the workshop that developing greenways is a long-term proposition that takes years of organization and persistence.
“Chattanooga is such a shining model of successful public space development over time,” he said. “Those of us who don’t live here witness Chattanooga as a case study and learn from it.”
E-mail Christina Cooke at firstname.lastname@example.org
See tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press for full coverage.