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Author: Lance

Forward Brunswick helps remove 1,000 feet of damage barrier

With the support and partnership of The Torras Properties and the City of Brunswick, Forward Brunswick assisted in the removal of more than 1,000 feet of damaged structure along Newcastle Street in front of the Brunswick Landing Marina.  The damaged structure ran along CSX railway.  Learn more about this beautification success story on The Brunswick News 10/23/21 front page here.


Changes in Forward Brunswick

There are some important changes at Forward Brunswick, and on behalf of the board, Chair Ben Slade would like to inform our partners and the community about them. In February of 2021, Erin Granados contracted with Forward Brunswick to lead the effort as executive director during the critical early organizational period. For over a year Erin has devoted countless hours to helping create the Forward Brunswick that is now well regarded in the city and broader community. As of May 1, Erin will transition to the role of part-time office manager. Board vice-chair Lance Sabbe will serve as interim executive director.

Lance Sabbe will be leading Forward Brunswick in further strategic planning efforts during the months ahead, as well as being responsible for a search for the next full-time executive director. Any communications regarding search candidates should be directed to Lance at 912-577-2599 or email at Forward Brunswick envisions a full-time Executive Director and two part-time staff, office manager and communications associate by the arrival of the next Executive Director.

In addition to strategic planning, the spring and summer will include continued attention on securing 99 trees for planting under the Liberty Brunswick Project (49 trees have already been pledged) and funding the first five stops of the proposed 13 stop MathTalk Trail (three of the stops are funded). Forward Brunswick’s advocacy for Mary Ross Waterfront Park being completed is also a focus of Lance’s tenure.


Thank you,

Ben Slade

New community orchard location celebrated

Congratulations to Keep Golden Isles Beautiful and the City of Brunswick for installing five MORE citrus orchards for our community. These five orchards are in partnership with Forward Brunswick’s Liberty Brunswick Project and contribute to our goal of 99 trees.  To see a map of all 12 community orchards, visit KGIB’s website.

See the announcement in the Celebrations section of April 25th’s Brunswick News.

April 2022

As I look at the various projects that make up our strategic plan for Forward Brunswick, it seems clear that we are stressing community amenities. What do we mean by amenities? Here is the dictionary definition: “Amenities, A desirable or useful feature or facility of a building or place.” “Something that provides comfort, convenience or enjoyment.”

As to how this relates to our Forward Brunswick plans, think of the proposed multi-purpose trail along MLK Jr. Blvd/Altama Ave. We see this trail complementing the existing trees and landscaping. It should also have seating for rest stops, bike racks at convenient locations, and security cameras.

When we review plans for Mary Ross Waterfront Park, they include landscaping amenities, seating, restrooms, and other enhancements. The same can be said for the plans that are now being developed for the Norwich St. improvements. This will include MathTalk Trail stops, improved lighting, and upgrading of intersections to improve ease of travel and safety.

So, let’s all think long-term about what we can add to our public spaces that will make them accessible, safe, and attractive. This will improve the quality of life for all of our citizens and promote community revitalization.

-Ben Slade, Chair of the Board of Directors

View the full April 2022 newsletter here and subscribe to our distribution list.  

March 2022

My love of reading started early in life and I’ve looked to books for inspiration, entertainment and as guides to a richer life. As I reflect on the Forward Brunswick goal of increasing community engagement across a broad spectrum of our local population, two of my favorite books come to mind: Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith and Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America.

Here is a quote from a review of the first book: “Christians often talk about claiming our cities for Christ and the need to address urban concerns. But according to Eric Jacobsen, this discussion has remained far too abstract. Sidewalks in the Kingdom challenges Christians to gain an informed vision for the physical layout and structure of the city.”

Jacobsen emphasizes the need to preserve the nourishing characteristics of traditional city life, including shared public spaces, thriving neighborhoods, and a well-supported local economy. He explains how urban settings create unexpected and natural opportunities to initiate friendship and share faith in Christ.

Brunswick and Glynn County are blessed with a strong faith community. I can think of no more valuable ministry than that outlined in Jacobsen’s book. Forward Brunswick is prepared to offer many opportunities for citizens of all faiths to engage with the important work of preserving the nourishing characteristics of life in our community.

The second book by the married writing team of James and Deborah Fallows “takes a deep look into the factors that are helping some towns thrive in the most difficult times.” A review by David Brooks in The New York Times reads: “…the Fallows argue, citizen participants are coping with declining industries, creating new civic cultures, assimilating waves of immigration, and collaborating across party lines to revive everything from arts programs to tech seedbeds.”

As we continue to refine the strategic plan for Forward Brunswick, we will be engaging with churches and civic groups to offer a range of opportunities to engage with our community and Move Brunswick Forward!

-Ben Slade, Chair of the Board of Directors

View the full March 2022 newsletter here and subscribe to our distribution list.  

Moving Brunswick Forward

Elegant Island Living’s March 2022 edition is all about Brunswick!  Forward Brunswick was featured on pages 26-28 in partnership with BuildWise Project Management LLC.  Grab a copy around town or check it out digitally here.

February 2022

One of our major goals at Forward Brunswick is to foster community pride, particularly among the rising generation of young people who live in our city. I received a good lesson in the meaning of this subject a few weeks ago when I participated in judging Youth of the Year candidates at the Jane Macon Boys and Girls Club. This is one of the great pleasures of being a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia, one of our important Forward Brunswick partners.

As judges, board members listen to a brief talk by each candidate and then ask questions on a variety of topics. One of the questions goes something like this: “What would you like to see changed in our community?” When asked this, one of the students said: “I would like to see my neighborhood cleaned up.” You see, young people inherently understand that taking care of your surroundings is one of the pathways to community pride.

I’m sure many of you have experienced occasions when pride in one’s club, team or other relationship is obvious. At Forward Brunswick, we are working with our many partners to “clean things up” and in the process promote pride in Brunswick. From Mary Ross Waterfront Park, Norwich St, Liberty Brunswick Project, the MathTalk Trail and other efforts, we are providing opportunities for citizens of all ages to engage in positive activities that will foster self esteem and pride in their friends and neighbors.

Please look at our various projects and search for ways that you can participate. The benefits will accrue to you, your family and the wider community.

-Ben Slade, Chair of the Board of Directors

View the full February 2022 newsletter here