Located on the outskirts of the Atlanta-metro region, Morgan County has maintained its rural setting and small-town charm, abundant greenspace, and rich agricultural heritage through progressive planning efforts. A public-driven Greenprint Plan was first commissioned in 2004, identifying countywide resources such as springs, historic farmhouses, productive agricultural lands, scenic roads, important gateways, and greenspace buffers. The Greenprint serves as a long-term strategy for the preservation of significant and valuable resources, while recognizing the inevitability and desirability of growth and economic expansion. To this end, the Greenprint reflects a desire to balance growth with preservation goals. The Greenprint Plan has been used by local governments, landowners, land trusts, the Historic Preservation Division, and the Madison-Morgan Conservancy as a guiding document to facilitate the preservation of these special places.
Over the course of 2017, updates to the 2004 Greenprint Plan were prepared to coincide with updates to the Morgan County Comprehensive Plan. In order to garner input and support for the process, several forums were held throughout the county for eliciting information from the public. Results of identification efforts accounted for over 200 specific opportunities and threats pertaining to resources, features, and other significant factors within the county. The expansive inventory represents public opinion regarding what is important to save for future generations.
Many of the preservation goals identified in the Greenprint Plan have been accomplished since its adoption as part of the 2004 Morgan County Comprehensive Plan. To date, over 3,500 acres of farmland, timberland, water resources, wildlife habitat, and historic landscapes have been permanently protected through conservation easements. Agritourism has been promoted through FARMeander, Georgia’s first agritourism farm trail, and more than 64 percent of land has been maintained as agriculturally productive. Additionally, the Morgan County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of accepting the Greenprint Guide as an informational resource document for the County in late 2017.
Environs assisted planning efforts by providing technical analysis of countywide resources, and cataloguing information derived from public identification of resources, features, and other significant opportunities.