SOUTH FORSYTH -- The expansion of a south Forsyth park is now open to the community.
On Friday, Forsyth County officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony for improvements to Chattahoochee Pointe Park, which recently added more than 20 acres to the grounds, built a new restroom facility and extended the park’s running trail for 5K races.
“As fast as we’re growing and developing and neighborhoods are popping up, greenspace disappears and when you get a buildable piece of land you either put a business on it or you put a neighborhood on it,” Parks Director Jim Pryor said. “So protecting areas such as this, which is a great resource and we’ll have greenspace in the future.”
The 119-acre park is considered a passive park, which means it has a focus on greenspace and outdoor amenities rather than ball fields and other “active” uses.
“In a growing community, one day you don’t want to wake up and have all of your greenspace and nature gone,” Pryor said. “This area is going to protect that for a long time.”
The park opened in 2012 and includes a canoe launch into the Chattahoochee River, two pavilions, walking trails and a river-themed playground.
During the ceremony, Natural Resource Manager Matt Pate said the additional 2 miles added to the trail, bringing it 3.1 miles or 5 kilometers, will benefit a few high school athletic teams.
“Lambert, as well as West and South Forsyth high schools have all done meets here over the last couple of years for their cross county teams,” Pate said. “Now, having this 5k is going to be extremely beneficial for them to have that trail system and run here.”
Pate and other speakers also thanked the Gilstrap family, who donated 20 acres of land for the park in 2015.
Funding for purchasing the land came from the parks, recreation and green space bond approved by voters in 2008. Construction was funded through the bond, SPLOST VI and impact fees on new development. Other improvements came from the bond and SPOLST VI.
District 2 Commissioner Rick Swope, whose term began in January, joked that he had the easiest job since he just had to show up for the ribbon cutting, but he said his family has enjoyed the park and others as residents.
“Speaking as a homeowner, not as a commissioner, the parks, trails and the park system are one of the things we especially love about Forsyth County and one of the things that draws people in here,” Swope said. “This is just another example of that success.”
Former District 2 Commissioner Brian Tam told attendees the county should keep the bond in mind for future parks expenses.
“This parks, recreation and green space bond can kind of serve as a template or a blueprint, if you will, of what can happen, and the citizens do support projects like this,” he said.
Installation of infrastructure for a future groundwater treatment plan planned for the property was also done using funds from the water and sewer capital improvement fund.
The project’s contractor was Steele & Associates, and the design firm was Hayes, James & Associates.