RINGGOLD, Ga. — It may just be dirt to some people, but it’s green gold to those who like natural greenspaces in a community.
“They don’t make dirt anymore, and when we let it slip away, when it’s made into parking lots, people are going to be looking for more places where they can get away and get back to nature,” Catoosa County Commissioner James Emberson said. “It’s important, not for me, but for my children and my grandchildren and all those yet to come.”
To create one of those greenspaces, commissioners recently voted to accept a 5-acre donation from the estate of Matilda Hodge off Roach Hollow Road. The terms of Ms. Hodge’s will ban development of the property in perpetuity.
County Attorney Chad Young recommended that the commissioners accept the terms.
“It doesn’t really lie well for development anyway,” Mr. Young said. “And it’s good for the county’s greenspace program.”
Catoosa County has accumulated more than 70 undeveloped acres through donations and purchases with state grant funds. The properties range from untouched land to sites with walking trails, natural parks or play spaces, county officials said, since greenspace is included in the county land-use plan.
“It is required by the state of Georgia,” County Manager Mike Helton said. “Most county citizens feel we need to maintain as much (greenspace) as we can, and it’s good to show that we are not turning all of our county into concrete.”
Most property comes through donations, but the county has purchased some land with funds from the Georgia Greenspace program, county Projects Administrator Olney Meadows said. The county has received $378,235 in grants, he said.
The county’s land-use plan also calls for developers to set aside greenspace when building new subdivisions.
“There have been ordinances passed that strongly encourage developers to include more greenspace,” Mr. Helton said. “And they are doing so.”