The Parks & Trails Department will seek the public’s ideas for mapping the city’s green infrastructure between 10 a.m. and noon at a booth during Food Day, held on Saturday, October 24 at the Farmers Market Pavilion, 121 Orange Street.
The public input event is part of the Hot Springs Green Infrastructure (GI) Landscape Study, a year-long project involving city agencies and other stakeholders begun in April 2015. The purpose of the project is to map and catalog the city’s highest valued natural assets and to create a plan for conserving or restoring them. Natural assets include trees, water, agricultural areas, trails, parks, habitat blocks and corridors. The maps will also include significant cultural sites that depend on the landscape for their interpretation or protection, such as hot spring fountains or large historic structures. The plan will help choose key opportunities to make Hot Springs as clean and green as possible and to promote healthful lifestyles for residents and visitors. It can also be utilized to make the city more attractive to potential employers.
“The greener a community, the healthier the people,” said Parks & Recreation Director Jean Wallace. “Areas with more green spaces attract top companies and well-paying jobs, and save funds over time by helping city leaders making better, smarter investments in water, trees, trails, food systems and parks. Studies also show that greener communities have lower crime rates and better air quality. Connecting green spaces makes a city healthier, more diverse and more resilient.”
The Green Infrastructure Center is a non-profit company hired by the city to assist in mapping and evaluating green infrastructure. For questions on the project, contact Parks and Trails, 321-6871 or visit their Green Infrastructure page on the city’s website, www.cityhs.net