Highlights from the Annual Membership Meeting
Our chapter’s first membership meeting was held on September 20th at the Bynum Ruritan Club. We gained 10 new members at the meeting!
First order of business was election of officers and at-large members of our Board of Directors:
President – Gretchen Smith
Vice President – Erin Jobe
Secretary – Nancy Strong
Treasurer – Matt Spangler
At-large Director – Ryan Cadwalader
At-large Director – Paul Horne
At-large Director – George Pauly
Guest speaker was Hillary Pace with the Chatham County Planning Department, who presented an update and survey results about parks, recreation, and natural resources from the Comprehensive Plan process underway that will guide development of the county over the next 25 years. Some highlights on survey results included:
- Top reason survey respondents chose to live in Chatham County is “rural character, lifestyle, or scenic beauty”
- Top two concerns about the future is “loss of rural character, lifestyle, or scenic beauty” and “urban growth pressure”
- What survey respondents like best about living in Chatham County is “rural/small town character”
- Top two priorities for future growth and development are “more parks, public open space, recreation facilities, and programs” and “preservation of existing tree canopy and natural areas”
- Top priority for parks and natural resources are “preserve natural areas, forests and wildlife habitat”
- Highest priorities for recreational facilities for the county are “conservation of natural areas” and “greenways and hiking trails”
Hillary asked for input into the Comprehensive Plan process by visiting www.planchatham.com
or taking a five question “Meeting in a Box” survey at https://chathamnc.seamlessdocs.com/f/compeplan
. All information about the Comprehensive Plan, including full survey results and Steering Committee meeting minutes, are available on a public ftp site ftp://ftp.chathamnc.org/Planning/Comprehensive%20Plan/
We shared the following Mission and Vision for the organization, and listed our three top priorities. Those in attendance let us know what they thought was most important, and they shared comments and ideas.
We envision a Lower Haw State Natural Area that is expanded in size, strategically developed, well maintained, and connected to local and regional trail systems.
The Lower Haw is a special place that we’re committed to conserving and enhancing for current enjoyment while creating a legacy for future generations.
The priorities that we identified were:
- Increase the size of the Lower Haw River SNA
- Foster community appreciation, stewardship, and recognition of Lower Haw River SNA
- Enhance infrastructure for responsible and safe use
You can see the feedback and comments from the group HERE