Celebrate Our Home is a public outreach effort aimed at providing food, fun and information to all of Newton County's 100,000 residents. Five events will take place on various Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.:
- March 17 - Eastside High School, 10245 Eagle Drive
- March 24 - Alcovy High School, 14567 Highway 36
- April 14 - Flint Hill Elementary School, 1300 Airport Road
- April 21 - Liberty Middle School, 5225 Salem Road
- May 5 - Live Oak Elementary School, 500 Kirkland Road
Residents want to have convenient access to work, school and shopping. They want to pay the lowest amount in taxes possible. They want to be healthy and live in a scenic place, and many of them want to be connected to the place they live. They want a high quality of life.
Newton County community leaders believe they have a way to achieve all of these goals, but they need the support of the public and want residents’ input.
Leaders are kicking off a series of informal gatherings, where residents will be able to eat, enjoy entertainment, talk to leaders and learn about their community and the 2050 Plan, a long-range guide that seeks to enhance quality of life locally during the next four decades.
The public outreach effort is being tagged Celebrate Our Home and kicks off from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at Eastside High School. Four other events will be held in coming weeks at other schools around the county in an effort to make sure at least one gathering is convenient for the all of the county’s 100,000 residents.
In addition to talking shop, Celebrate Our Home seeks to celebrate all the people, places and activities already taking place in Newton County. There will be live music each week and several children’s activities, including inflatables, educational games, face painting and an art show. There will be prize drawings and giveaways.
"The events showcase Newton's many great assets - its people, culture, services, recreation, education and relaxation opportunities," said Kay Lee, director of the The Center for Community Preservation and Planning. "All that is special about Newton will be rolled up into one place at one time. New residents can learn all about the place where they live and residents who have lived here longer can always learn and reacquaint themselves with place we a call 'home.'"
Given the fact nearly 40 percent of Newton County’s residents moved to the county within the last 12 years, Celebrate Our Home also seeks to connect residents with each other.
While the goals of the 2050 Plan are simple, the processes are more complex. Elected officials and other leaders have discussed the 2050 Plan for years, but Celebrate Our Home is the first effort to spread the plan’s core details and tenants to the general public.
At each meeting, there will be an hour long presentation about the 2050 Plan from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Residents are invited to attend all or part of the presentation.
In order to have convenience, businesses and schools must either be close or easy to get to. Sprawl — the opposite of density — requires more roads and power and water lines, which cost money to build and maintain. Density is generally cheaper, which can lower residents’ taxes.
Not everyone wants to live in a dense, urban environment, but one of the goals of the 2050 Plan is to increase density in certain areas of the county, namely the already dense western half and central swath, while protecting the rural lifestyle and beauty of the rest of the county. The eventual goal is to have 89 percent of the county’s population living on only 37 percent of the county’s land in compact communities that combine residential, commercial and civic uses.
To learn more about the plan or Celebrate Our Home visit www.centernewton.org, call 770-788-0484, or email the event’s organizer Anna Liddick at email@example.com.