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Board of Realtors helping to enhance Union Point

October 08, 2021 - 00:00
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The Lake Country Board of REALTORS will use a $4,500 Placemaking grant from the National Association of REALTORS® to help transform unused space in Union Point into a vibrant, public destination for community use and enjoyment.

The grant was designed by NAR to ensure local REALTOR® Associations are partnering with other neighboring organizations to plan, organize, implement and maintain Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper Placemaking projects in their communities.

The Lake Country Board of REALTORS will use the funds to create a Butterfly Garden and Trailhead Kiosk for the Union Point “Model Mile” that runs from the intersection of Carlton and North Rhodes streets to Greene County Primary School. The Firefly Trail is a planned 39-mile rail trail that will follow the historic route of the Athens Branch of the Georgia Railroad, from Union Point to Athens. It will connect three counties and eight towns, providing a safe, off-road place to run, walk, bike and skate.

Per Lisa Baynes, member of the Firefly Trail Board of Directors, “This garden will be used to provide educational opportunities to trail users regarding the flora and fauna that inhabit the area. It will provide bird and bat boxes to attract species that are being displaced by urbanization. Identification markers will be used to educate visitors. This component of the NAR Placemaking grant project will be a welcoming, fun attraction for visitors to the Firefly Trail as well as local residents.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the City of Union Point, the Firefly Trail Board of Directors, other non-profit organizations and many individuals to help support the Firefly Trial. Union Point is a very special place; the new garden and kiosk will enhance an already attractive area drawing additional visitors to the area,” said Ted Baker, 2021 President of the Lake Country Board of REALTORS®.

NAR offers Placemaking Grants to state and local REALTOR® Associations around the country to create new public spaces and destinations in a community, such as turning a parking spot into a people spot (parklet) or a vacant lot into a pocket park or garden. “REALTORS® live, work and volunteer in their communities and take immense pride in our work to make the lake area better places to live, work and raise a family,” said Ann Foster, State Director of The Lake Country Board of REALTORS® and Georgia Association of REALTORS® Executive Committee member.

Laura Commanday, Lake Country Board of REALTORS® Association Executive said, “This grant gives us a tangible, immediate opportunity to identify and address areas in the local community that is in need of enhancement and revitalization and can be used for the greater good. Placemaking can help foster healthier, more social and economically viable communities and creates places where people feel a strong stake in their neighborhoods and are committed to making things better.”

The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The local chapter has over 460 REALTOR®, Appraiser and Affiliate members.

For more information on the Firefly Trail visit

To find out more about the National Association of REALTORS® placemaking program visit,