We’re the Public Voice for Public Space
Seaside Airstream Row – A Wide Pedestrian Path and Beautiful Tree Canopy. Courtesy SoWal.com.
Scenic Walton was launched with little more than a bold vision, a handful of tirelessly dedicated team members, $10,000 in funding, and the audacious belief that these ingredients could create something transformative. Now we must step back, assess our progress, and formally chart our way forward.
In 2019, we embarked on a strategic planning process to address the significant challenges we face as we continue to grow. This process enabled us to shape a new mission statement, articulate our desired long-term impact, and identify the following programmatic goals:
- Prioritize and implement projects to landscape the gateways into our communities along our primary roadways. Landscaped medians add to the beauty of our roadways and minimize their impact on the scenic nature of the surrounding areas and also generate increased business along commercial corridors.
A landscaping project on 331 South of the Bay that Scenic Walton participated in.
- Pursue the undergrounding of overhead utilities and the minimization of the visual impact of cellular infrastructure countywide. Perhaps the single most important act a community can undertake to improve its streetscapes and its resiliency for recovering from storms is to relocate overhead utility wires underground.
- Promote the expansion of pedestrian and cyclist facilities. Good pedestrian and cyclist facilities contribute greatly to our health and quality of life; however, a lack of adequate and sustained public funding threatens future additions to current facilities.
- Implement programs to educate our citizens about the importance of litter reduction. Litter is a stain on our roadways and public spaces and an issue that our community must tackle.
- Advocate for strong aesthetic and access management guidelines throughout the county. The distinctive character of many Walton communities is threatened by poorly planned urban and suburban growth, misguided community leadership, powerful business forces, and the potential proliferation of chain businesses and their corporate franchise design.
The ideals we pursue are not “nice to have” but are requirements as we learn more about the importance of being surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty, having access to good cyclist and pedestrian facilities, sustaining a robust tree canopy and other landscaping, and ensuring that both private and public development are well done and in character with the area. These principles have a very real and significant impact on the strength of the business environment, the maximization of property values, general quality of life, and the mental and physical health of our citizens.“
– Roger Hall, President of Scenic Walton
To facilitate these programmatic goals, Scenic Walton has also defined its organizational goals:
- Continue growing the Central and North Walton presence on our Board while seeking opportunities to invite more people experienced in planning and architecture.
Lake DeFuniak and Chataqua Hall. Photo credit: JWC Studios
- Increase staff capacity. To support our newly hired executive director, we must continue to grow our professional bandwidth.
- Constituency building. Our ability to make progress in advancing our mission depends on close collaboration with allied organizations at the national, regional, state, and local levels and the community at large.
- Expand our outreach by leveraging staff and technology. In order to achieve our goals, we must educate the public and raise awareness about who we are and what our mission is.
- Diversify and increase our revenue. Historically, we have depended heavily on several very generous individual and corporate investors as well as contributions from board members. We must alter this funding model for our long-term stability.
Scenic Walton is poised to make a real difference in the look and feel of our communities. Walton County is an incredible place with beautiful natural assets, but we must protect that beauty and those assets as the built environment evolves and ensure the development that occurs doesn’t damage the natural aesthetic.
We seek partners and investors who understand that dynamic and appreciate how critical it is to our health and sustainability as an amazing place to live, work, do business in and visit.
– Leigh Moore, Executive Director of Scenic Walton