BY LANDON WOODROOF
A local non-profit dedicated to preserving open lands in Brentwood presented the city with a hefty donation this past Monday night.
Citizens for Brentwood Green Space turned in a check for $27,629.99 at the most recent Board of Commissioners meeting. It was part of a pledge the group had made in 2011 to help the city purchase nearly 80 additional acres of property at Ravenswood Farm as an addition to Marcella Vivrette Smith Park.
The city acquired the property in late 2013, according to the City of Brentwood website. This donation brings CBGS’s fundraising for the purchase to $188,165 out of a total pledge of $300,000.
“We all share a passion for green space and trying to preserve as much as we can the quality of life of Brentwood,” CBGS President Gil Hutchinson said Monday night before bequeathing the check to the city.
Hutchinson took the opportunity to briefly assess the state of green space preservation issues in Brentwood before the city commission.
“Time after time people we meet in in the parks say green space is why we moved here,” Hutchinson said. He also noted that Brentwood currently has 965 acres of park land or green space in the city. That is 468 more acres than when CBGS was first founded in 2004.
Several CBGS members joined Hutchinson at the front of the commission room for a photo op with Mayor Regina Smithson as the check was handed in. This included Vice President Joe Harkins, Secretary David Kumatz, Treasurer Lynda Reeves and members of the Board of Directors Hollie Cummings and George Malo.
“That’s a lot of hard work, and we’re proud of the [CBGS],” Smithson said.
Other commissioners praised the organization for its hard work in the community and for its donation later in the meeting.
“I also really want to think Citizens for Brentwood Green Space,” Vice Mayor Jill Burgin said. “I really appreciate your dedication and persistence.”
“They don’t do it for personal glory,” Commissioner Anne Dunn said of CBGS members. “They don’t do it to network. They do it because they love green space and they made a long-term commitment, and they have kept it up.”
Citizens for Brentwood Green Space was the subject of another recent article in the Home Page about a survey the group was undertaking to gather public feedback on local preservation issues. The group plans to use that feedback to craft a series of questions to candidates in Brentwood’s upcoming municipal election.
While Hutchinson said the full results of the survey would be made available at a later date, he did mention some of the results Monday night. These included that 83 percent of responders said that green space was very important to them and that 73 percent felt it was very important for elected officials to understand the importance of green space issues.