Emory Report

February 7, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 20

Chace announces Lullwater Task Force

In a Universitywide letter on Feb. 1, President Bill Chace announced the formation of the Lullwater Management Task Force.

To the Emory community:

Last spring our community engaged in discussions on how to grow and develop while preserving the green spaces that contribute so much to our intellectual and social lives. One focus of our attention was Lullwater, our most precious green space.

After inviting and obtaining advice from all members of the Emory community, I made the decision to move ahead with the construction of a shuttle road along the edge of Lullwater to connect the University Apartments complex with the main campus.

At the same time, I offered several proposals with the goal of preserving the integrity of Lullwater both now and for future generations. During the summer and fall, I asked campus planners to survey Lullwater in order to determine its boundaries, and to work with representatives from various campus groups to research pedestrian and bicyclist access options, reforestation opportunities, and other ideas that would contribute to the health of Lullwater while benefiting the community.

I am pleased to report that the Lullwater survey has been submitted to me in provisional fashion and, as promised in my letter to you last spring, I will now take this draft to the Board of Trustees with the request that they designate Lullwater a protected area.

But this action alone does not resolve the issue of how we can best serve as stewards of this most valuable resource. What has become abundantly clear since last spring is that all members of the Emory community believe that they have a stake in Lullwater. Indeed we do.

For this reason, I have established the Lullwater Management Task Force comprised of student, faculty and staff representatives. The task force, which will report its ideas and recommendations to me, will be charged with:

  • ensuring that the boundaries of Lullwater, based on the provisional survey, are established clearly, physically maintained, and that encroachment is prohibited.
  • reviewing all proposals for recreational, educational and/or ecological use of Lullwater and making recommendations to me regarding the proposal's environmental feasibility and benefits to the community.
  • monitoring Lullwater's access points for pedestrians and bicyclists in order to ensure safety and environmental protection.
  • exploring opportunities to maintain and enhance Lullwater's ecological balance through reforestation and landscaping projects.

Although the task force will focus on Lullwater, it is important to keep in mind that the land is not protected by a dome. Not only do we have a stake in Lullwater, but we need to be aware that the entire campus, and the greater community in general, are endangered every day by excessive traffic, air pollution and the despoliation caused by asphalt and concrete.

As a university, we have taken many steps to combat these problems: The shuttle road will be open only to alternatively fueled vehicles--and we plan to continue to replace as many vehicles in our campus fleet as possible with these vehicles. We are committed to expanding our already strong commuter option programs and bringing increased public transportation services to the congested Clifton Corridor. Our campus master plan calls for a pedestrian campus and is designed to balance our need to grow with our responsibility--and desire--to preserve and maintain a green, ecologically healthy environment.

I am invigorated by the talent and energy the Emory community has devoted to tackling these complex issues. I am impressed by our progress but am fully aware of the challenges we face in improving our environment. I invite you to join us, if you haven't already, in helping to make the community a better learning and living environment for everyone.

Bill Chace

President, Emory University

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