NORTHEAST FORSYTH — A Lake Lanier park operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in northeastern Forsyth County has been closed for improvements, but nearby residents feel they were not properly notified of the makeover and are hoping the plan can be altered some.
Since work began in mid-December at Two Mile Creek Park, off Bethel Road, several meetings have taken place between the corps and neighbors.
“The day we found out they were doing all this was the day the closed the park down,” said resident Ben Taylor. “That was what the residents were most upset about, I think.”
While the project was announced in December, it had been in development for much longer, according to Lisa Parker, a spokeswoman for the corps’ Mobile, Ala., district.
“It’s my understanding that a press release went out in December, and that’s probably why they didn’t see it, because of the holidays,” she said. “There’s been talk about this for many, many months.”
In mid-January, corps official met with residents to discuss the park upgrade. Last week, the agency held a walk through with neighbors.
Parker acknowledged safety is a concern for some.
“Anytime we propose to go in and build a park or put more amenities in a park, the residents that have always treated it as their own park — because the public wasn’t aware of it or it didn’t have more amenities to attract more people — have more concerns about security and safety and things like that,” she said.
Parker added that the closure, which is expected to last four months, will allow for the addition of several new amenities.
“We are going to go in and put in a half million dollars of improvements on that park,” Parker said. “There’s also going to be a gated attendant once the park has completely been built. There’s also going to be a pavilion and a beach and quarter-mile nature trail.”
Taylor operates www.bethelroadcommunities.com, a website that provides updates on the project and details concerns. He said residents would like to have some say in what happens to the park.
“We obviously know that we’re not going to get it changed drastically,” Taylor said. “I think one of the things that the residents really want more than anything is to reduce the amount of concrete and the amount of trees going down. Then also, there’s this idea of a bridge [across a cove] being discussed.
“[Discussions] would be in an effort to [nix] the part of the project that was a walking trail that was coming within 5 or so feet of people’s property line.”