Governor Bredesen and TDEC-Recreation Education Services' release of Tennessee 2020: Vision for Parks, People and Landscapes shows a strong attitude toward attacking the roots of our inactive lifestyles and related diseases of obesity and diabetes by fully developing our natural recreational resources. Part of the new plan we as members of Bike Walk TN should strongly support is the 2015 Action Plan: "TDEC/RES and PARTAS will develop incentives to encourage cities and counties to enter into school-parks agreements that open school recreation facilities to the public; to encourage high growth counties that lack a county-wide department to form one; to encourage creation of local greenways, with an emphasis on connectivity of greenways, bicycle lanes, and sidewalks into local or regional networks; to help under served counties develop multi-county parks and recreation entities, and to hold a Recreation Summit in 2010 to focus on issues relating to local parks and recreation departments." This plan’s Quality Growth initiative will encourage county planning commissions to recognize recreation resources as significant community facilities in their comprehensive plans, to include parks representatives on their commissions, to include funding for parkland acquisition as part of the subdivision permitting process, and to ensure that undeveloped land will be protected to provide for future recreation needs. In addition to the health related impacts of the new vision of Tennessee 2020 plan are the strong economic impacts of investing in recreation resources. Bicycle tourism and walking and hiking opportunities for individuals and families are strong factors in building economic growth especially in rural communities.
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