Forsyth County, Green Space Program

Location: Forsyth County
Client: Forsyth County, Georgia

Lose & Associates was selected in 2008 through an RFQ process to assist Forsyth County, Georgia, with a $36 million open space acquisition plan, Forsyth County was listed nationally at No. 2 in “Forbes” magazine’s “Best Places to Get Ahead” by Matt Woolsey, February 25, 2008 issue. The article addressed communities where income growth and job growth are the highest. “Its ability to attract businesses and qualified workers from all over the country is reflected in its strong job growth, almost 8% a year since 2000.”

Lose & Associates, Inc. was hired by Forsyth County, Georgia, to consult with the county’s GIS staff to develop a methodology to prioritize property selection for an open space acquisition program in the county.
The program is part of a statewide initiative to protect 20% of the open space in the urban counties located throughout the state. Our staff developed a process utilizing ArcView GIS software that allowed the county GIS staff to rank the 72,000 parcels in the county based on their suitability to provide green space preservation, environmental factors including water quality, soils, slopes, habitat and recreation opportunities. Parcels were also evaluated based on the ability to create green corridors throughout the county along rivers and streams. The value that each property received in the process coincided with nine preservation and recreation goals established by the county commissioners. Lose staff worked with the commissioners to explain the ranking process, how their individual goals would be blended to create a unified scoring system and then how they could review high ranking properties. Lose staff then made a presentation to the commissioners documenting the top 35% of properties that met multiple goals. These properties were
then subdivided into a three-tier system based on the size of the properties and overlaid on population density maps to illustrate the number of residents that would be served by the various parcels. Overlays were also developed illustrating the location of existing park and school facilities to evaluate green corridor options.

Since the presentation of the findings in November of 2008, the County has expended $32,480,000 on the acquisition of properties.