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In high demand, field space in Forsyth parks a growing issue

FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County’s parks and recreation department is taking a look at the policy for its coveted field space for youth sports, though it appears a quick solution is not in sight.

Wayne Maddox, athletic manager, updated the local parks board on a field space allocation study during its recent meeting.

With a growing population, demand for field space — in particular the square or rectangular fields needed for football, lacrosse and soccer — has also increased. Maddox said he had reached out to several other parks departments, to see how they were handling the issue, but that there was no clear answer.

“Moving into 2016, I would propose that we try to use the same policy and maybe look at a more realistic ratio of participants versus fields,” Maddox said.

Field space is typically reserved through park booster clubs, but Maddox said the parks department could keep a closer watch for square-field sports, similar to its policy for baseball and softball fields.

“Another thing I think we should consider is taking a more active role in knowing the different practice and game schedules of different booster clubs.”

Maddox said Lanierland and Matt Community, which are currently under construction, each will feature square fields that can help alleviate some of the pressure on other sites.

He added that the field issue could be addressed in the parks department’s upcoming comprehensive plan.

In the past, heavy use has deteriorated grass fields and not given them enough time to naturally recover, which made the county adopt more expensive synthetic turf fields.

No action was taken, and Parks Director Jim Pryor said any possible changes to the county’s policy would first come before the board.