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Public input on parks sought
County wants to hear from residents
parks 1 WEB
As part of an update to the comprehensive recreation master plan, Forsyth County is seeking public input on its parks and recreation department. Residents can take an online survey or attend an open meeting later this month. - photo by File photo

How to comment

To offer input on Forsyth County’s comprehensive recreation master plan:

• Visit Sharon Springs Park, 1950 Sharon Road, from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23, or Central Park Recreation Center, 2300 Keith Bridge Road, from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24.

• Fill out a survey online at

Forsyth County is asking residents this month what they want to see from its parks and recreation department.

The county’s comprehensive recreation master plan is being updated to cover the years 2012-17.

The plan helps determine the type, number and location of future parks, facilities, programs, open space and trails to meet the county’s needs.

To gather the public’s input, the county has posted an online survey. It will also hold open meetings on Aug. 23 at Sharon Springs Park and Aug. 24 at Central Park.

The online survey includes several questions about use of county recreation facilities and programs, as well as several open spaces for comments.

Jerry Kinsey, director of parks and recreation, said the information gathered will play a large role in formulating the plan, a draft of which likely will be presented to commissioners in October.

“Public input is very important. You don’t want to build something nobody wants or needs,” Kinsey said.

Since the plan was last updated in 2007, many factors have changed, including the county’s population and funding.

“There may be different needs, like lacrosse came on as a different sport,” Kinsey said. “There may be other things that come up that people want.

“Of course, our passive parks are coming online, so people can give their input on what they’d like to see around their neighborhoods.”

Noting that voters in 2008 approved a $100 million parks, recreation and green space bond, Kinsey expects nature trails and passive parks will be popular topics.

The county hired Robert Betz of AICP to conduct the master plan update for $27,000.

Betz has completed the county’s plan in the past, Kinsey said, and has also formulated recreation plans for several neighboring counties and cities.

The final document will lay out the work ahead for the parks and recreation department, as well as listing some potential funding sources.

“We try to stay as close to the plan as possible,” Kinsey said. “Of course, everything is dictated by budgets.”