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Year later, the path to parks emerging
Bond funds green space, recreation
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Forsyth County News
For a breakdown of what the county has planned, click here.
A year ago this month, Forsyth County voters approved a $100 million bond plan to enhance parks, recreation and green space.

County election results showed that more than 70 percent of those who voted in the Feb. 4, 2008, election favored the bond.

In July, county commissioners chose a consulting firm to help them find and acquire properties with the $36 million earmarked for green space. Since then, the county has acquired three properties and has signed a contract on a fourth green space site.

The county defines green space as "property for the protection of water quality and supply; conservation of natural areas, lakes, rivers and forests; existing green space and park areas suitable for passive recreational use."

The rest of the bond money, or about $64 million, will go toward improving parks and recreation. Some improvements have begun at county parks and fields while others are in the planning stages.

Commissioner Brian Tam said he's happy with the progress of property purchases so far.

"I think we've bought some property, and have some under contract, which are located in a wide range of spots throughout the county," Tam said. "We're off to a good start."

The county waited until November 2008 to sell the bonds because of the state of the market at the time, according to Chief Financial Officer Bill Thomas.

"Initially, we were going to issue them in September," Thomas said. "The credit markets kind of dried up at that point, so we had to wait until they opened up again ... so we waited to enter the market."

Properties purchased through green space bonds can serve further purposes as well.

Tam said the board has "looked at a lot of options for active recreation, libraries and other activities where we can take advantage of using the same infrastructure on one piece of land."

"When we look at these properties, we think about all the possible uses," Tam said.

E-mail Frank Reddy at