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Arch at Caney Creek Park would honor late Smart Forsyth Growth member

SOUTH FORSYTH — A local residents group aims to honor one of its late members at a Forsyth County park.

During a meeting Wednesday night, the local parks and recreation board agreed to move forward with a plan to erect an arch at Caney Creek Preserve in memory of Jack Gleason, a community activist group who passed away last year.

The vote was 3-0 in favor, with members Todd Holbrook and Gary Cooper absent.

Members of Smart Growth Forsyth County said the group felt the arch would best be placed over a walkway in the south Forsyth park, due to Gleason’s preservation work.

“He was a member of Smart Growth and a community activist in terms of protecting environmental resources in Caney Creek,” said Claudia Castro, member. “Our goal here is to memorialize, to have something for those of us who knew him … and those who don’t know who he is can learn a little bit more about him.”

Gleason was recognized last month by the Forsyth County Fire Department during the groundbreaking for the new Fire Station 6, of which Gleason he had been a proponent.

“He was instrumental in the county locating a new fire station on Brookwood Road,” Castro said. “He worked very closely with Chief [Danny] Bowman on that location. That was a passion of his, knowing how densely populated that area is, the need to have a fire station in that area.”

According to documents from the meeting, the arch would be made of metal and paid for through fundraising by Smart Growth.

After clearing the parks board, the matter next moves to the county commission, which will consider it at a future work session.

The final design for the arch and contractor still must be chosen. There are also plans to place a plaque near the arch.

Smart Growth members said they hope the arch could be dedicated this spring or summer.