Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's Organge County, NC Doing?

Orange County works to conserve and manage the natural and cultural resources of the community through its Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks and Recreation. Through various boards such as the Commission for the Environment and the Agricultural Preservation Board, programs and projects are in place which strive to recognize and protect rural areas. Specifically, the county has Voluntary Agricultural Districts and a Farmland Preservation Plan. Additionally, the Department manages a Lands Legacy program, which is for acquisition and protection of highly important natural and cultural resource lands. This program leverages local funds with State and Federal dollars, and works with conservation partners. Since its inception in 2000, the program has protected over 2,500 acres. Additionally, Orange County has a nonprofit citizen organization, Preserve Rural Orange (PRO), which was established in 2009 to “preserve, strengthen and defend the viability of the rural community of watershed land, farms and woodlands” in the county. The group provides public education on potential impacts of development and has been influential in promoting constructive community dialogue on issues affecting rural residents, farmers, the environment and public health.

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