By Tommy Hartzog

Exec. Dir., HNG Chamber of Commerce

In 2016, your Chamber, in collaboration with the Hickory Nut Gorge Foundation, will lead a process to develop a Community Covenant for the Hickory Nut Gorge.

The process, which is expected to take 3-6 months, will be facilitated and overseen by outside professionals and funded by a local citizen who loves this community and its people. The end result will yield an enduring document that states who we are with respect to values and standards, what our priorities are, and how we agree to interact in order to achieve the best outcomes for the future.

We will begin in early spring to publish notifications using multiple formats to make sure all interested citizens are aware of the opportunity to participate. We will build a roster of those interested parties and hold a series of small stakeholder meetings in pockets of our area.

Following that phase, we will bring things together with a larger gathering or two, leading to a final Community Covenant that will serve our community in perpetuity.

Seeking the truth, respecting opposing views with an open mind, and rational discourse are hallmarks of successful cultures that lead to positive, greatergood outcomes. Each of us owes this level of effort to our predecessors and to posterity.

We sincerely hope YOU will join us.

To add your name and contact information to the participant roster: email the Chamber at and write “community covenant” in the subject.

We thank you, and so will future residents.