Forsyth County commissioners and other officials broke ground on an expansion project for Eagle’s Beak Park on Wednesday, April 21. Eagle’s Beak Park is at 8420 Old Federal Road along a historical stretch of the Trail of Tears.
Chairwoman Cindy Jones Mills, who represents District 4, spoke to the crowd during the groundbreaking.
Funding for the project comes from a Georgia Department of Natural Resources grant in the amount of $2.25 million.
Eagle’s Beak Park is one of 14 statewide parks to receive the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program grant. Forsyth County has also contributed to the grant in the amount of $769,000, which was paid through the county’s Landfill Host Fee fund.
“I always wanted to do something to honor Native Americans, because of the Trail of Tears,” Mills said in an interview. “We’ve got the Etowah River that is so rich in history, and we’ve got over a mile of that frontage [at Eagle’s Beak] that’s along the river. And then we’ve got floodplain there that really fit with the Native Americans and what they did and how they used the land and what the land meant to them. So, we put that all into the plan [for Eagle’s Beak Park]."
Eagle’s Beak Park will soon be home to new pavilions, an inclusive playground and 12 acres of open greenspace. Mills previously said the plans for the park also include placards along the walk by the river with historical context that wind from the Etowah up to a gravesite and the Sherrill House, a known location where Native Americans lived.
Mills said that she was proud of the project and excited for the surrounding community members to have a place for “birthday parties and just whatever they want.”
Currently, Eagle’s Beak Park has a canoe and kayak launch along the Etowah, 1.3 miles of nature trails, picnic tables and restroom facilities. These current amenities will remain open during the expansion and construction period.