TSW worked with the City of Forsyth to create the Parks System Master Plan, which included schematic designs for each of the parks. Forsyth is located in Monroe County, Georgia, approximately 60 miles south of Atlanta, with a population of around 4,000 people. The City has 6 parks, making up approximately 120 acres of open space. Country Club Park is the largest park at 107 acres, and Kynette Park is the second-largest park at 5.8 acres. Other pocket parks are located throughout the city. The public engagement process included a kick-off meeting, a pop-up event to display the 6 schematic park concepts, and a final popup event at the Farmers’ Market to prioritize park improvements.
Each of the 6 parks were re-designed to provide better amenities for park users. Because of their size, the number of uses they attract, and the condition of some park facilities, Kynette Park and Country Club Park required the most design interventions and park feature upgrades. The final pop-up event at the Farmers’ Market uncovered the possibility of a new park Downtown on the vacant green space at the northwest corner of N. Jackson Street and W. Morse Street. The entire block could be used as civic park space, but the City would need to acquire the land.
Some common design changes at the parks include:
- Playground upgrades or new playgrounds
- Internal path upgrades
- Landscaping improvements
- Wayfinding signage
- Stormwater management
Country Club Park, which would cost around $3.5 million to implement, was prioritized by City Council and participants at the final pop-up as the first park to construct. This park was redesigned to add a secondary entrance, wayfinding signage, an amphitheater and stage for outdoor performances, a community garden, a basketball court, a disc golf course, additional trails, and a larger parking area, in addition to updating the existing park features. Kynette Park, which would cost around $1.5 million to implement, was the second priority. The new park design includes moving the baseball field to the east, expanding the park, adding a natural play area, and stormwater management interventions. Less involved design elements are proposed for Park Circle Park, Lee Street Park, Milledge Circle Park, and Hill Street Park, mostly involving landscaping, seating, signage, and playground upgrades.
The implementation phasing plan assumes that the City would use multiple funding mechanisms, including property tax revenue, labor from the Department of Public Works, large bonds, and potential grants. The phasing plan estimates that if started immediately, Country Club Park and Kynette Park could be designed and implemented by 2023. These would be funded by bonds, and the smaller four parks would be completed through DPW work and property tax revenue by 2025.