This project continues the goals and objectives of the ACCUG approved Greenspace program with a goal of permanently protecting 20% of ACCUG's land base. The Greenspace Acquisition program will provide funding for the acquisition of properties by the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government to permanently protect such properties for use as green space and to contribute to the ongoing development of a comprehensive, countywide green infrastructure as a component of the overall land base. This will continue an ongoing SPLOST 2005 project.
The purpose of the program is to create a green infrastructure system that permanently protects natural areas, including riparian zones, wetlands, steep slopes, neighborhood open space, forest lands, and farm lands, in a cost-effective way. Green infrastructure is a multi-purpose, inter-connected network of protected open spaces that also provides wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, and potential opportunities for passive recreation. The goals of the Greenspace Program are: flood protection; protection of cultural sites, heritage corridors, and archaeological and historic resources; protection of “prime and unique” agricultural and forestry lands; protection of riparian buffers and other areas that serve as natural habitat and corridors for native plant and animal species; provision of opportunities for both self-directed and interpretive programs leading to a greater understanding of the natural environment, cultural heritage, and preservation/conservation efforts; provision of recreation in the form of boating, hiking, camping, fishing, running, jogging, biking, walking, or similar outdoor activities; reduction of erosion through protection of steep slopes, areas with erodible soils, and stream banks; scenic protection; water quality protection for rivers, streams, and lakes; and wetlands protection.