The Sandy Springs Conservancy honored Linda Bain by giving her its Greenspace Champion Award at its annual Though Leaders Dinner on Sept. 28 at Lost Corners Preserve in Sandy Springs.
Bain, a founding member of the Conservancy’s board, began reaching out in 2011 with other board members to Georgia Power, Northside Hospital, Fulton County and the National Park Service to pitch the idea of a “Great Park” on the Chattahoochee River on county-owned land just above Morgan Falls Dam, Steve Levetan, former Conservancy board chair told the organization at its annual dinner.
The site is “on the overgrown and forgotten homesite of the Power Family – they operated a ferry across the river long before the bridge that many of us use every day was built,” Levetan said.
Money was raised, a plan developed and an environmental assessment was completed. But then Sandy Springs was incorporated, so new plans, discussions and negotiations were required with this new owner. That all came with the input of the Sandy Springs Conservancy and Bain, he said. What developed was Morgan Falls Overlook Park, Sandy Spring’s first park development.
Bain became the face of the Conservancy as she seldom missed a community meeting and reported back to the current board chair. That was at first Joey Mayson, then Levetan and then to the board as she acted as its first executive director.
She received the Fulton County Environmental Stewardship Award. She was instrumental in the transition of the Conservancy as a committee of Sandy Springs Revitalization to the full-fledged 501 (c)3 that exists today. Bain served as the coordinator and liaison for the Conservancy in dealing with the late Peggy Miles and her estate, the Trust for Public Lands, and Sandy Springs, in the creation of Lost Corner – what Levetan said was “probably still our most complicated project.”
She coordinated with Georgia Power for many annual river cleanups at Bull Sluice Lake and was active in the Morgan Falls Dam recertification with the utility company. The many sculptures seen in Sandy Springs’ greenspaces are attributed in large measure to Bain in her work with Arts Sandy Springs, he said.