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Eagles Beak Park construction begins in northwest Forsyth
eagles-beak WEB
Forsyth County officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for Eagles Beak Park on Tuesday. - photo by Kelly Whitmire

How Eagle's Beak park came to be:

2008: Forsyth County voters approved a $100 million Parks, Recreation and Greenspace bond

2009: The county purchases the land using bond funds

Aug. 2013: Forsyth County moves away from plans to include archery and BMX amenities to keep the park a greenspace

Nov. 2016: Forsyth County officially breaks ground on the park

Spring 2017: Expected completion of the park

NORTHWEST FORSYTH -- A new greenspace park is officially underway on “historically rich” land in northwest Forsyth.

On Tuesday afternoon, county officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for Eagle’s Beak Park, a 230-acre passive park that will feature nature trails, parking and restroom facilities and a canoe and kayak launch to the Etowah River.

“We are grateful to have this beautiful, beautiful park,” District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said.

Construction is being handled by Tri Scapes Inc. for $1,367,460. The park was paid for with Parks, Recreation and Green Space Bond and SPLOST VI funding.

“I hope everyone really appreciates and realizes how special it is to live in a county that places a priority on parks and amenities for their citizens,” said Ryan Hogan of Tri Scapes. “In day and age where we’re all so plugged in to each other and the world, it’s nice to have a place close to home that you can unplug.”

Also speaking at the event was George Pirkle of the Forsyth County Historical Society, who spoke on the former Indian settlements and history near the park.

“The segment of the Etowah forming Eagle’s Beak is probably the most historically rich area of Forsyth County and one of the richest in north Georgia,” he said. “We can now document human habitation right out here in the bottom lands that goes back at least 1,000 years, probably more like 1,200 or 1,300 years.”

Pirkle said Etowah means “town” in the Muscogee language, which settlers changed to the similar sounding Hightower.

Forsyth County purchased the park in 2009 using bond funds and discussed a variety of uses, including an archery range and BMX course, which were eventually dropped as they are not passive amenities.

The park has been used as a field for model aviators, though commissioners decided in November 2013 to approve a settlement that terminated a lease with the group and prevented future boards from reversing the decision.

The park is expected to have a quick turnaround for construction and to open early next year.

“We already have equipment moved in, have started moving some dirt,” Parks Director Jim Pryor said, “and we really hope that the weather cooperates that we have the park open by Spring 2017.”