Nancy Williford Stangle is the co-founder and Emerita Director of the Athens Land Trust, a local non-profit that develops affordable housing, conserves farmland and greenspace, and builds community gardens. Under Ms. Stangle's leadership, Athens Land Trust (ALT) protected 2,858 acres of farmland, forest, wetlands, and green space in Athens-Clarke, Barrow, Franklin, Habersham, Jones, Oconee, Stephens, Towns, Walton, and Wilkes Counties. ALT is providing homeownership and rental opportunities for more than 300 low-to-moderate income residents. ALT's Community Garden Network is comprised of 15 gardens in low-income neighborhoods, 15 school gardens, and two market gardens. ALT has been recognized on national, state, and local levels, including the 2008 Magnolia Award for Homeownership from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. ALT was one of the first 39 land trusts to be accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2008. ALT has also been recognized several times by the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation for outstanding rehabilitation and by Athens Grow Green for the 2008 Best New Development. ALT has leveraged over $9 million in federal and state funding for affordable housing and over $4 million in funding for farmland protection and community gardens.
Ms. Stangle is the daughter of the late Robert and Betty Williford of Elberton, who promoted the Elberton campus of Athens Technical College and served on the Athens Technical Foundation Board for many years. The Williford Family was named 2005 Benefactor of the Year by Athens Technical College and 2006 Benefactor of the Year by the Technical College Foundation Association of Georgia.
Ms. Stangle graduated magna cum laude from Furman University, where she majored in Social Science Education. At Furman, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and was presented the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award for Humanitarian Service. She has a Masters of Education from the University of Georgia in Guidance and Counseling, and has been a high school teacher, middle school counselor and UGA international student advisor. She is a former foster parent and is the co-founder of the Kenney Ridge Community Association. She has served on the Sandy Creek Nature Center Board of Directors and was presented the Alec Little Environmental Award in 2002. Ms. Stangle was married to the late Jim Creech and has three daughters and two grandsons.
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