Georgia Trend magazine has confirmed what Chickamaugans already knew: the city is a great place to live, work and play.
Chickamauga was one of nine cities statewide to receive the "Live, Work, Play" designation, which annually features cities of varying sizes ID'd by the Georgia Municipal Association for actively improving their amenities to attract tourists as well as better the lives of citizens.
The cities are put into categories based on size: small, fewer than 4,999 residents; medium, 5,000 to 24,999 residents; and large, more than 25,000 residents.
Chickamauga was one of three small cities honored, along with Summerville and Porterdale.
Chickamauga City Manager Micheal Haney believes his North Georgia town was chosen because of its various amenities and landscaping.
"Our downtown is gorgeous," Haney said. "It's known as the jewel of the South."
Georgia Trend characterized Chickamauga as "a family-friendly city that boasts sidewalks, a highly ranked (seventh in the state) school system and the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, the oldest military park in the country and a huge tourism driver."
Haney also believes that — along with the city's lack of a property tax for the past 17 years — Chickamauga's Renaissance Strategic Vision Plan contributed to the award.
RSVP is a program in which city officials talk to citizens to find out what they want in their city. The program is meant to better the town in ways that citizens see fit, as well as generate tourism. One thing that's already come from the plan, whose final report was compiled last month, is the city's recent designation as a Tree City USA.
The Tree City USA program gives cities that apply, and qualify, resources to further tree growth in their community. According to the Tree City USA website, a town with more trees can boost property values from 7-20 percent.
"By doing this, we could ensure that trees continue to be part of the scenery for Chickamauga as well as the homes for the wildlife that inhabit the trees," Haney said.
The city also used the RSVP plan to identify beautification opportunities and has landscaped around signs and spruced up playgrounds, said Haney.
"With our little downtown shops and restaurants, we have a lot to offer for people who want to come and visit," he said.
Email Alex Farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.