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Plans for green space sites detailed
Emphasis on gardens, trails and playgrounds
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Forsyth County News


The design concepts are in for four of Forsyth County’s green space properties.

Themed gardens, nature trails and playgrounds will be featured at most of the south Forsyth sites, which include Buice, Echols, Harrison and McClure.

Some unique amenities include a disc golf course, sprayground and mountain bike training course.

Forsyth County hired the Mactec firm to design seven green space parks for the county, including four that are south of the city limits and three properties that are north.

Plans for the northern parks -- Eagle’s Beak, Lanierland and the third phase of Sawnee Mountain Preserve -- likely will be presented to the county commission in late May.

After reviewing them at a recent work session, commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the master conceptual plans for the southern properties.

They also unanimously agreed to have Mactec pursue the construction documents, so they can get an idea of what it would cost to implement the plans.

The firm would provide cost estimates of developing the properties in phases.

Commissioner Patrick Bell also asked that Mactec help identify the portions of the green space properties that would have the lowest maintenance costs.

Mactec representative Reggie Dill said that’s a common request of local governments when designing parks.

“Very often we do that work with county staff in establishing not just construction costs with the most bang for your buck, but also the maintenance,” Dill said.

Operational costs have been a recent budget challenge for the parks department, which opted to close the Central Park Recreation Center on Sundays to save money.

Resident opposition led the county to keep the reinstate the hours last month after just one week.

When presenting the ideas for the four properties, Dill noted that the county can handle them in phases to save costs.

The McClure property, which straddles the Chattahoochee River, includes plans for a canoe launch, disc golf course and natural outdoor amphitheater.

The plan also showed more than three miles of crushed stone trail winding through garden landscaping and Dogwood trees.

At the Buice property, across the street from Lambert High School, a cross-country trail and natural, unpaved playground were proposed.

Overflow gravel parking was also denoted, since a recreation center is being built on the site.

A sprayground, or water-themed playground, was slated near the rec center.

The Harrison property on Caney Road could have two entrances, each with a trail loop themed with gardens on either side of the stream running through the middle.
A dog park, plenty of open space and a natural playground were also proposed.

At the Echols Road property, a looping trail with crushed stone encompassed most of the land, and trail connections were proposed to Samples Road and two nearby schools.

A small, beginner mountain bike trail and training area, designed with children in mind, could be featured near the entrance.