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Equestrian center plans aired
Facility could be part of Lanierland park
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Forsyth County News

Other business

Also during its meeting Tuesday, the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Board:

* Recommended hours for the three recreation centers, two of which opened last month.

The new Fowler and Old Atlanta centers would follow the same schedule, opening at 8:30 a.m. each day except Sunday and closing at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Central Park would gain four afternoon hours on Saturday and one on Friday, closing at 6 p.m.

All centers would be open from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

The county commission will need to approve the recommendation before new hours are put into effect.

The vote was 3-1, with board member Dan Slott opposed.

* Approved rules for the Fowler Park track that prohibit bikes, skates, scooters and skateboards.

* Commended the department’s staff for successfully running the Miracle League Slugfest Tournament last weekend. Youth baseball teams played about 400 games over three days.

Note: All votes were 4-0, with member Karen Smith absent, unless otherwise noted.

Equestrian enthusiasts weighed in on plans for a future park Tuesday during a meeting of the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Board.

Jon Hart, with county-hired design firm AMEC, presented a draft map of the Lanierland property, which features an equestrian center.

The plan included a large and small arena, two warm-up areas, stables and parking for trailers, cars and RVs.

The complex, Hart said, follows the hunter jumper standards, but he added that the arenas and open areas could be changed to accommodate different types of events.

“It’s a very flexible space,” he said. “We’re just looking to see what can fit.”

Hart said the equestrian center has a footprint of about 35 acres within the nearly 110-acre site off Jett and Jot Em Down roads in north Forsyth.

“We’ve maxed out this area,” he said. “That’s one of the issues we’re going to have to think about is cost.”

Money to develop the park is included in the voter-approved $100 million parks, recreation and green space bond, the same funding used to purchase the property.

Nearly $8 million has been set aside for the Lanierland property and the future Matt community park.

Lanierland plan also calls for five baseball fields, two rectangle fields and several walking trails.

Commissioner Patrick Bell, who also attended the meeting, said he’s a proponent of the equestrian center as a space for local and regional events, but couldn’t support expanding the space at the expense of the ball fields.

“If the equestrian concept is successful, we could grow it,” Bell said. “But I’m not going to sacrifice those fields until we find a replacement and we can afford a replacement.”

About 30 people at the meeting offered suggestions on how to get the most quality in the space available.

Parking often is an issue at equestrian events, the group agreed, and many thought reducing or eliminating the 18 RV spaces in favor of more room for trailers would be beneficial.

Creating one large, covered arena and several smaller warm-up spaces was another option.

Those who had been involved in the design process have said this draft was an improvement on the previous one.

Hart thanked the group for its input and planned to get to work on revising the plan to reflect the best suggestions.