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BMX group pitches plan for park site
Wants to see track at Eagle's Beak property
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Forsyth County News

Other business

Also Tuesday night, Forsyth County parks and recreation board members:

* Heard a request from Commissioner Todd Levent to consider allowing a vacant concession stand at Fowler Park to serve everyday visitors rather than just athletics. The stand could also rent out equipment, such as skateboards or bicycles. The board agreed to consider his suggestions as part of the bidding process.

* Turned down a proposal to allow a business to install book donation drop-off boxes at parks. The for-profit entity resells the books and gives local governments a portion of the proceeds.

* Received an update on the parks comprehensive master planning process, which will set a guide for the next five years. Two public participation meetings will be held in August, and a survey will be available online.

 

-- Alyssa LaRenzie

Anna Beynon addressed officials before hopping on her bike, donning a helmet and pedaling to the Fowler Park skate area to practice her skills.

The 11-year-old asked Forsyth County’s parks and recreation board to consider welcoming a BMX track and club at a green space property.

Several members of a newly formed local BMX group hope to build a track at the Eagle’s Beak property in northwest Forsyth and forge a partnership with the county parks department.

The sport, which is comparable to motocross on bicycles, is for all ages, both genders and people from all walks of life, Beynon explained during the meeting Tuesday at Fowler.

"It’s a great family sport because BMX’ers are truly one giant family," she said. "It would be wonderful if you could help us find a way to build a track near my home in Cumming."

Forsyth County BMX is a nonprofit organization, but needs a racing track to realize its mission.

Just seven such tracks exist in Georgia, with the closest one to Cumming about 50 minutes away in Cobb County, said James Watson with the group.

Watson said the group has scouted about 3 or 4 acres at the Eagle’s Beak site off Old Federal Road.

A conceptual plan for the green space park includes a BMX track. However, the time frame for developing the park, as well as its features, has not been finalized.

When the county does plan to develop the site, BMX riders hope they will land a home for their hobby.

"It’s all about bringing a growing sport — an Olympic sport — to Forsyth County," Watson said.

"Our goal is to have a track for anyone to come out and ride, and really give it a focus on educating the younger population."

Though many may have seen it on TV, the type of BMX racing the group does often attracts families.

Watson, who started when he was a child, said he now shares the hobby with his son.

The group wants to use a track, which would require about 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of dirt, for practices and weekend races.

Ryan Kramer, president of Forsyth BMX, said races attract between 100 and 150 riders, many of whom come from out of the county and can contribute to the local economy.

Kramer also introduced a working draft of an agreement between the organization and the county parks department that would allow the BMX group to lease the space and build a track.

Parks and recreation board members expressed interest in the proposal, but would like to work out some of the details.

Member Chris Stovall said the arrangement could be set up similar to dealings with booster clubs.

The clubs, he said, give a portion of participant fees to the county in return for the parks services and facilities.

The BMX group requested a parking area and restroom be built somewhere near the track.

The county commissioners would have to give final approval to any agreement between the organization and the park.

First, commissioners will have to give the OK to develop the property, for which funds have not yet been approved.