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Letter to the Editor: 'Greenprint' important for Milton


March 26, 2014
Every day, many of us drive by the pastoral landscape that is the unique character of the city of Milton.

Every day, we are apt to see deer crossing the road, horses, cows, chickens and even wild turkeys. And then one day, those open fields or wooded hills are gone. It is on that day that we realize we have taken for granted the pleasure a natural view can provide and the respite it can give from our hectic lives and the unending traffic.

Preserve Rural Milton, the nonprofit organization recently formed to protect the rural heritage and character of the city, has begun what hopes to be a successful collaboration with the City Council and administration in the procurement of a greenprint.

This document will identify and prioritize plans for the protection of wildlife habitats, iconic open landscapes and other rural, agricultural and usable spaces within the city. It will complement the current comprehensive plan (which outlines the projection for growth and development) by providing the guidance by which the city will retain its unique character.

But the greenprint is not procured within a bubble.

The development of this plan and subsequently its implementation, will require the support of the citizens of Milton; the true stakeholders in the city's future.

Through the educational opportunities which Preserve Rural Milton will provide for landowners and the public, all stakeholders will come to understand the various options available to landowners who, for example, may be faced with developmental pressure. There are options and the procurement of the greenprint will act as a guide to determine the best use of the conservation options available.

But the greenprint can only be developed with the support of, and for the benefit of, those of us who live in and enjoy the city of Milton.

As a board member of Preserve Rural Milton, I am very pleased with the progress being made in our collaboration with the city. As a resident, I could not be more grateful for this initiative. And, as a conservation professional, I am very excited to utilize my skills locally to ensure that the landscape I admire every day will remain intact for the benefit of all of us.

From a professional perspective, I assure you that the proposed objectives of Preserve Rural Milton and the potential for both residential/conservation development and the protection of our landscape (via a greenprint) has been successful in many like communities around the country. I know it will be successful here; so long as the development of the greenprint, with community support, takes place soon.

I ask you to think about supporting Preserve Rural Milton next time you drive past your favorite scenic view or admire the red-tailed hawk perched on a pine looking for its next meal. These are the characteristics that have inspired Milton to be chosen as having the "highest quality of life in the state of Georgia." Let's work together to keep it that way.

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