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RAMBO to hit fundraising trail
Donations needed to finish bike path
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Forsyth County News

Other action

Also during its meeting Tuesday, the parks and recreation board:

• Agreed to offer one field to a group of cricket players on a monthly trial basis. The group can play for eight hours on Sunday at a park where space is available.

• Set rates for advertising on scoreboards at Fowler Park, the lone county park not under a soon-to-expire contract with Coca-Cola. The different size ad spaces will cost $2,500, $1,800 and $1,000 per year in a two-year deal.

• Reviewed the funding mechanisms for developing planned northern green space parks at an undetermined time.

Eagles Beak, Matt Community Park and phases four and five of the Big Creek Greenway will be funded through the voter-approved $100 million parks, recreation and green space bond.

Charleston Park improvements will be handled with 1-cent sales tax revenue.

Phase three of Sawnee Mountain Preserve will use a combination of the two.

Note: All votes were 3-0 with members Karen Smith and Todd Holbrook absent, unless otherwise noted.

Volunteers building a mountain bike trail at Charleston Park plan to offer sponsorship opportunities in return for donations to complete the path.

Members of the Roswell-Alpharetta Mountain Bike Association, or RAMBO, asked the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Board for guidance Tuesday on how to proceed raising the $15,000 needed to finish the trail.

The board agreed in a 3-0 vote, with members Karen Smith and Todd Holbrook absent, that RAMBO can earn revenue through advertising, but all signs must first get county approval.

Joe Baker, events coordinator for RAMBO, presented the plans for the 6-mile trail.

Members of the nonprofit mountain biking organization build and maintain the trails, such as the one at Central Park, following standards set by its parent organization, the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Baker said.

The group plans to offer advertising or naming of trail sections to local business in return for donations to finish it, he said.

“We’re interested in how we facilitate that discussion such that we can understand what we can offer potential opportunities for their money,” Baker said.

He highlighted the successes at Roswell’s Big Creek Park as an example.

A nearby bicycle shop and a vendor donated $10,000, and in return, received a logo on a sign and a track with their names on it.

The park has thrived and drawn visitors seeking mountain biking trails, which has resulted in an economic impact of as much as $2 million for local stores, Baker said.

The trail at Charleston will give Forsyth County a more advanced path than what’s currently offered at Central Park, he said.

“This will be a great addition to the county,” Baker said. “Right now, true mountain bikers, not beginner type mountain bikers, have to leave the county to ride.”

At Charleston, volunteers have so far spent about 1,360 hours toward preparing the trail and about 350 more hours are needed before the grand opening, he said.

The group has received a recreational trails program grant for $52,700, which will go toward a parking lot for riders separate from boat parking and two bridges, Baker said.

The land is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but an agreement allows Forsyth County the rights to develop and operate the 149-acre lake park.