Each of our RCOSA Executive Board has a passion and many reasons for being so heavily involved and invested in the development and protection of open space in Rockwall County. Here are the thoughts of our Vice-Chairman, Nell Welborn.
In 2011 when citizens were challenged by Rockwall County Judge Jerry Hogan to tell the Commissioners Court what we wanted Rockwall County to look like in the future, in my mind there was one clear answer:
What Rockwall County will look like in the future depends on how we use the land today.
In this small county, it is important that the cities talk with each other and coordinate open space plans to maximize the economic value and minimize the environmental impact of growth. We must be smarter about how we treat our natural watersheds and flood plains. Patterned after the Traffic Consortium, the RCOSA provides the venue for collaborative decision making, as
evidenced by the Open Space Master Plan getting under way. People who are concerned about the kind of place we’re leaving for our children are encouraged to take an active part in this Plan.
The time is now and we are the people to make a difference in what the county is like for future generations.
In 1992, Texas A&M University completed a Rockwall County Growth Management Plan, a study with the goal “to preserve and enhance the quality of life.”
In 2008, an Open Space Goals and Finance Assessment was completed by North Central Texas Council of Governments and The Trust for Public Lands resulting in the adoption of three Open Space Planning/Conservation Visioning Objectives:
1. To preserve quality storm water corridors,
2. To secure a major central park, and
3. To protect/establish corridors essential for open space connectivity countywide.
In 2011, a countywide Strategic Planning Exercise reaffirmed that the findings of the 2008 study were still valid concerns.
Now, in 2015, we are at a point where all the critical elements have converged. For the first time in almost 25 years, all the pieces are in place.
· We have leadership and interested citizens,
· We have supportive city and county governments,
· We have funding.
There may never be another window of opportunity this strong. We cannot afford to waste it. Join this effort and help us Keep the Green Space in our Growth.