Nature & Wellness

Steve Nygren Remembers Earth Days Past

Steve Nygren reflects on Earth Day 2004, when US Congressman David Scott delivered his Earth Day address from Serenbe.

With Earth Day 2022 upon us, I was reminded of an earlier Earth Day in the early days of Chattahoochee Hill Country and Serenbe. 

A younger me served as Chair of the Chattahoochee Hill Country Alliance in Spring of 2004, and we were being celebrated locally and nationally as a unique opportunity for the future of green-field development. The zoning laws had been passed, the first Transfer Development Rights for the southern US had been passed for Georgia, and Serenbe had just broken ground. The editorial pages had run a few stories and local and national awards were headed our way.  

Pictured from the left: Kasim Reed, Steve Nygren, Congressman David Scott, Bill Edwards, and Tom Williams.

For Earth Day 2004, US Congressman David Scott chose to celebrate the day and deliver his Earth Day message from Serenbe. To celebrate, we presented Congressman Scott with a picture of a rural landscape of the Chattahoochee Hill Country. This open pasture was an example of how the new zoning overlay would protect pastures such as this in urban Atlanta.  

Congressman Scott was in his first term representing Georgia’s newly formed 13th congressional district. Congressman Scott continues to represent this district and is the only person to do so in the 20 years since the district was formed. Last year, he ascended to Chair the US House Agriculture Committee. He is the first person of color to hold this chair. Kasim Reed, who at the time was the Georgia State Senator representing our area, joined the events, as did Bill Edwards, who at the time was the Fulton County Commissioner representing our South Fulton district, and Tom Williams, Vice President of the Chattahoochee Hill Country Alliance & Land manager for Bouckaert Holdings.

Each of the elected officials pictured here would go on to play important roles in the story of the Chattahoochee Hill Country, the formation of the city of Chattahoochee Hills and the four county, 98 mile proposed PATH system.

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