Green and Blue Trails – heart of the community

Did you know that green trails and blue trails can improve your outlook, benefit your health, give you access to recreational opportunities, all while increasing the real estate value of your home?  Imagine, all of these things can be done through your donations, as well as through tax dollars, by supporting park acquisition to improve the quality of life for all while making your region or city more desirable.

At the Chattahoochee Nature Center we work with the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (National Park Service NPS) and their friends group (CPC – the Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy); the Georgia River Network and Georgia Water Coalition as well as Park Pride and many other organizations.  The Georgia River Network in particular is working on Georgia Water trails.  The Georgia Conservancy and the Georgia Trust for Public Lands are two other groups involved in this work.  The Trust works to acquire property.  The primary focus of our collaborations is on the topic of preserving and conserving greenspaces while also helping our river.  That river, by the way, provides 70% of the metro region’s drinking water.  Without that precious resource, we could not develop, grow or support our growing population of humans, plants and animals that call this place home.

You’ve heard of the Atlanta Beltline by now, but did you know that the Chattahoochee River provides a network of trails that connect to many city owned trails and that these are now spreading throughout the metro region into an exciting ‘web’ that connects you, by bike or by your feet, to many beautiful places to enjoy yourself.

Did you know that the Chattahoochee River Water Trail was the first nationally designated River Trail in the country?   It travels through the entire Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) area; starting south of Buford Dam, and winding through multiple counties and cities, with almost 48 miles of river frontage.  The public green space it provides is 65% of the total in our region.  In fact, one in 5 acres along that stretch is park land!  The park and water trail contain at least 18 developed public access points that connect to our local city and county parks and the good news is, these are being further developed by local governments to provide a strategic network of connectivity.  The goal is to build this ribbon of green entwined with blue, which ultimately, will allow you to travel, without a car, from one end of the state to the other.

Trail building for recreational purposes, enhances our collective quality of life and increases an area’s economic vitality while creating exciting recreational opportunities for citizens. The benefit to real estate values and to tourism is significant.  Creating places for hiking, biking, or walking; providing access to our rivers for paddling in canoes or kayaking; for fishing or just gazing at beautiful scenery is a worthy pursuit that takes a lifetime of work and vision.  These trails, both greenways and blue trails, take work and cooperation between multiple jurisdictions.  Understanding how these trails all work together and properly ‘branding’ them so that people know where they are, what amenities are provided, what they will need to know before they go and where they can go is going to take some work too.

You can always visit the Chattahoochee Nature Center, where they provide easy woodland or river boardwalk hiking trails with native wildlife to view along with way.  The LEED Certified Discovery Center also serves as the interpretive Center for the entire Chattahoochee River Watershed Corridor.  Check out the River Gallery, visit the Nature Exchange – the only one in the SE – or see the film that orients you to the Chattahoochee River.

Just imagine this; in view of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area’s economic impact alone, they reported over 3,168,137 visitors in 2015 who spent over $125,842,200 supporting over 1,775 Metro Atlanta jobs.  That competes with the Atlanta Braves for economic impact! Learn more about this amazing string of pearls that connects us all.

Recreation is essential for our health, what we do with our leisure time to refresh our minds, bodies and spirits and reconnect with each other and have fun is important to our region’s increasing population.  People value green space, connectivity, trails (both greenways and blue trails) and the beautiful places that connect them to each other.  That is a value that impacts real estate values daily, the essential ‘cool’ factor.  What trail do you live closest to?

The Mission of the Chattahoochee Nature Center is to connect people with nature.