TIFTON -- The Georgia Greenspace Commission announced Thursday that Tift County was one of nine additional Georgia counties approved for the program. Tift County will receive $92,557 for its participation in 2002.
"That is so exciting," said Charlotte Bedell, Tift County commissioner. Bedell described herself as a minor player and a research person. She commended the local Greenspace board for their work.
"There is a good representation of citizens of this county on that board," Bedell said.
Bedell said the Tift County Commission will continue to take recommendations from the local Greenspace board as the program progresses.
The Georgia Community Greenspace Program encourages urban and rapidly developing counties to permanently protect 20 percent of their jurisdictions as open and connected greenspace and provides state grant funds to help with land acquisition. The program is administered through the DNR.
Tift County was one of three counties approved as newcomers to the program. The other two were Baldwin and Coffee.
"I'm pleased to welcome three new counties to the program and congratulate the continuing counties on a job well done," said Gov. Roy Barnes. "These counties truly understand green space is a vital element to preserving a community's quality of life and economic competitiveness."
A total of 40 Georgia counties were eligible to participate in the Georgia Greenspace Program in 2000, the first year the program began operating. An additional 49 counties became eligible to participate during the current fiscal year. These counties have a population of at least 60,000 or an average annual growth rate of 800 people.
Board members include Mary Leidner with the Department of Natural Resources, Dr. Doug Wade with Abraham Baldwin College, Michael Staton with the Georgia Forestry Commission, William Bowen representing Tift County, Betty Turner representing the City of Tifton and Ruby Medders representing the cities of Omega and Ty Ty.
To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.
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