DeSoto County Natural Resources Plan

DESOTO COUNTY NATURAL RESOURCES PLAN_Page_054Developing an interconnected system of parks, greenways, green spaces, and bikeways throughout DeSoto County is the mission of the DeSoto County Greenways and Parks organization. Working with the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors and the DeSoto Economic Development Council, members of the DeSoto County Greenways and Parks program are coordinating efforts to connect public and private open and green spaces throughout DeSoto County while protecting, restoring and linking the natural features and their functions in order to achieve a healthy, natural environment and ecological diversity.

Several goals were identified for the DeSoto County Comprehensive Green Resources Plan, with accompanying objectives outlined for attaining them. The goals reflect the overall purpose of the plan, which is to identify the facilities needed to provide the county with an interconnected system of greenways and blueways, parks, and other public lands while serving to promote the preservation or conservation of areas with special ecological significance or cultural heritage.

The plan addresses conserving natural resources and connecting communities across each municipality of DeSoto County and focuses on planning for future park and recreation needs and developing a recreational facility needs assessment throughout the county by identifying types of parks and capacities and identifying linkages needed for future capacity requirements. The plan also seeks to develop a parcel acquisition review process to guide the county through the decisions regarding green space acquisition. The process considers whether there is: a new neighborhood park in identified area of need, new recreational facilities in identified area of need, expansion of existing park or recreational facility in identified area of need, protection of areas with historical, cultural, or natural significance, and implementation methods which do not cause undue burden on County/City staff or budgets.

The plan seeks to preserve and enhance natural resources by developing a Natural Resources Management Plan (NRMP) for the county, including identification of existing government-owned property and property to be acquired that have significant natural resources present, parcels offering additional protection, surface streams, or green corridors between natural areas. The plan also developed a map of properties with ecological significance (potential preservation sites). The NRMP establishes a methodology for preserving natural resources, including developing property inspection form, establishing baseline documentation checklist of items for Baseline Documentation Report, and comprehensive inventory of the property, current physical state, current uses, conservation value of property.