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Forsyth County to overhaul plan for parks future

FORSYTH COUNTY — Big changes could be coming to the future of parks in Forsyth County.

The county commission recently approved funding for a new comprehensive plan for the local parks and recreation department.

The vote was 5-0 in favor to award the contract to Alfred Benesch and Co. at a cost of $119,925.

Jim Pryor, parks director, had outlined the process earlier in October during a meeting of the parks and recreation board.

“Hopefully, we can get them started sometime in November and by June we’ll have a plan. It’s a seven- month process,” he said.

A comprehensive plan determines the future goals and policies of a department and, according to Pryor, will give officials something to build on.

“Hopefully 20 years from now, we’ll say, ‘Dang, I’m glad we did that plan.’ “Because we’ve got what we need on the ground,” he said.

Pryor added that the plan would have “a lot of public input,” including an extensive, random survey and several meetings with affected groups.

“By doing it that way, you’re not only getting people showing up saying they want soccer or lacrosse [fields], you’re getting the people who aren’t using our parks and getting their input,” he said.

“We’ll have three different focus groups, and then we’ll have three public meetings, one in each area of the county.”