Chuck Flink, president of Greenways Inc., is an author, landscape architect and environmental planner. He was recently awarded the Watauga Medal by N.C. State University, the highest non-academic award bestowed by the university, in recognition of his service and leadership. Chuck is nationally and internationally known for his work planning and designing greenways and open-space systems. He has completed work in 235 communities in 37 states and has provided consulting services to clients in Asia, Europe and South America. Chuck and his wife, Marjorie, live in northern Chatham County.
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What do you like most about your job?
Working with nature and people to envision, conserve and design beautiful landscapes. My work is grounded in land and water conservation. I am an entrepreneur and a capitalist. I firmly believe we can protect and steward Earth’s bounty, and simultaneously live in productive and economically strong communities. It requires us to think differently, to be creative, to constantly reinvent ourselves and consider how to best live in harmony with our planet’s ecosystems.
What inspires you?
I am in awe of God’s handiwork. I am inspired by the beauty and complexity of planet Earth. Our biosphere, where the majority of life exists (essentially as high as birds can fly and as deep as fish can swim) is an extremely thin layer of our planet. Thus far, we know of no other zone of life anywhere in the universe that is equal to our biosphere. I want future generations to have access to the richness of life that I have been so fortunate to experience and enjoy.
Who should we be paying attention to?
The moderate voices in our communities. Our nation has become polarized, and in my opinion we are not achieving our full potential — at home or abroad. I think we are a better nation of communities when we put aside philosophical and political differences and focus on the challenges that are in clear view of everyone. I realize that today people like to be on the winning side of an argument. I like to be part of win-win scenarios that enable our communities to succeed.
What was your biggest challenge this week?
Meeting the needs of my schedule. I travel nationally for work and juggle a diverse mix of clients and commitments. Flying on airplanes and living out of a hotel room might seem glamorous to some, however, it is challenging. It is an exciting way to live, but it requires coordinating home life with the needs of clients.
Favorite vacation spot in North Carolina?
The Duck and Corolla area of the Outer Banks. My wife and I love the ocean. We love the laid-back atmosphere of the area, the wonderful restaurants and variety of outdoor activities. We value and appreciate the wild horses and native landscapes of the northern Outer Banks.