October 28, 2011
As the Tennessee Greenways and Trails Program Coordinator, it is my pleasure to provide this letter of strong support for Mr. Charles Flink for the tremendous work he does to further the cause for Greenways and Trails in the United States and on an international basis. He is one of the first pioneers in the Greenways movement that started in the early 1990's and has been a dedicated promoter ever since.
I first met Mr. Flink at a Conference on Greenways in Chattanooga, TN in fall of 1995 and have followed his work since that time. Chuck's vision and direction for the Chattanooga Greenways program has led to its recent designation by Outside magazine (October 2011) as the Best Town Ever for outdoor activities. I also worked with Mr. Flink on the City of Murfreesboro Greenways and Trails Plan and their city Bicycle and Sidewalk Plan. Murfreesboro, TN is also recognized as a very bicycle and pedestrian friendly city and the city continues to expand its greenways system following Mr. Flink's guidance.
In April 2011, the 3rd biannual Tennessee Greenways and Trails Forum was held in Murfreesboro, TN and Mr. Flink was our featured Keynote Speaker for the Forum. His presentation was fabulous and the people who attended the Forum still talk about his presentation and how they can incorporate his ideas to create greenways in their communities.
Once again, I would like to express my support and appreciation for Mr. Charles Flink's efforts for the development of greenways and trails.
Robert (Bob) Richards
Tennessee Greenways and Trails Program Coordinator
Response to Facilitated Strategic Planning WorkshopFriends of the Lafitte Corridor, New Orleans, LA
Thanks Chuck. You did a great job and I'm sure we'll be reaping the benefits of this session for years to come.
Friends of Lafitte Corridor
Response to Chuck Flink's Keynote PresentationGreen Space Summit Conference, McKimmon Center, Raleigh, NC
“Your presentation today was extraordinary. Absolutely the best talk I’ve ever heard on the subject – nothing I’ve heard even compares. Thanks so much.”
Kate Dixon, Executive Director, Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail
“Honestly, I don’t know how it could have gone better and what a kick off!!! Thanks for all your encouragement and planting the seed for all this. It totally exceeded expectations.”
Sig Hutchinson, Sig Hutchinson Communications, LLC
"WE ARE IN A REVOLUTION - ONE EQUAL TO THE INDUSTRIAL - IT IS A SUSTAINABLE REVOLUTION"
REPORT FROM THE GREEN SPACE SUMMIT, "A Green Future For Economic Development" | Wednesday January 26, 2011 | Raleigh, NC
By Kenn Dodson, Green Infrastructure Resources
Hundreds of Green Infrastructure specialists from around North Carolina gathered in Raleigh on Wednesday to hear about the true economic impact of open space and to discuss solutions for pushing forward on critical issues related to its preservation. Keynote speakers included noted greenway designer Chuck Flink, Founder of Greenways Inc. and President of Alta/Greenways, and nationally known author and Urban Land Institute Sr. Fellow Ed McMahon. The Summit also provided breakout session tailored to G.I. issues including funding + grants and collaborative initiatives as well as in-depth analysis of successful open space planning. In addition various conservation + open space related groups provided further information + educational resources in the Open Space Toolbox exhibitors hall.
"CHANGE IS A CONSTANT FOR OUR ECONOMY"
Morning Keynote speaker Chuck Flink, FASLA, led the charge with a strong defense of the value well designed open spaces bring not only to our quality of life but to local economies as well. Flink believes change is a constant for our economy but that green infrastructure can be key to navigating that change successfully. "The Carolina Thread Trail alone provides over $42 Million in tourism dollars and $250 Million in direct and indirect economic impact from its construction" and "helped create an estimated 2,700 construction related jobs." He went on to illustrate the significant added value green space has on the value of a nearby homeowner's property stating "the National Association of Realtors reports an average 10-20% gain in value alone." But in the end, Flink says, it all comes down to buyers making a lifestyle choice. "What is it you value in your community?"
Green space also equals better business. "It brings the opportunity to create jobs and is a great investment" he said, citing $3 to $1 return on investment in many cases as well as bottom line benefits to traditional public services such as overall lower infrastructure cost for stormwater flood control. Flink also promoted the concept of Greenprinting, the standardized inventory and analysis of an areas green infrastructure.
"We are not victims, we are determinants of the future." - Chuck Flink, Founder, Greenways Inc. and President Alta/Greenways
"IT IS A SUSTAINABLE REVOLUTION"
Afternoon Keynote speaker Ed McMahon promoted the advancement of green infrastructure as a necessary component of planning at all levels. McMahon, author of the book Green Infrastructure emphasized that character and context make the place "Do you want the character of development to shape North Carolina or the character of North Carolina to shape development?" With great passion he cited the tragic examples in nearby Virginia where what were once the hollowed grounds of Civil War battles that shaped the very purpose of our nation are now overrun by strip center development.
"Every county needs a long term conservation plan" he feels, otherwise these tragedies or worse will continue.
McMahon also feels "we need to preserve green space first . . . over 80 people a day are moving to the Triangle". He emphasized we must begin to think more critically of the how and why and not just do. "America's biggest conservation challenge is the accelerated consumption and fragmentation of open space" and the issue needs to be addressed head on in the planning process. McMahon also used his summit experience to remind us all of the consequences of poor planning including the loss of natural areas, a decline in productive farming, diminished community and degraded air. In addition, he also highlighted the loss of free services once provided by green infrastructure after it is no longer there. "Smart Conservation is needed . . . large scale linkages . . . green infrastructure is key" were all thoughts that formed the skeleton of his thought process. McMahon feels strongly that green infrastructure provides a certain predictability and certainty in planning and in life. By providing us a grand vision for the long term, and based on a logical and defensible framework, Smart Conservation can help ensure a sustainable existence for all of us.