SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - How to make sure one of Savannah's most famous places stays in good shape for years to come?
That's what the Trustees Garden Club of Savannah is working to figure out. The club is essentially creating a strategic plan with the help of business owners, residents and city leaders to help the city manage the Forsyth Park.
The Trustees Garden Club is creating two documents: guidelines to manage change and a cultural landscape report. The club is researching Forsyth Park's history and working with the cultural landscape foundation based in DC and CEO Charles Birnbaum to make sure the park's history preserved and considered when the city makes changes.
Terry Pindar, the club's Forsyth project manager, says those will help get the park a national historic designation, which opens the opportunity for more funding.
"We want to help be that voice for the park and to help create funding opportunities to assist the city in helping to manage it for the benefit of all, so we don't overuse it and those decisions that are made are done in a thoughtful manner," Pindar said. "People use the park in different ways to understand that everybody loves the park, but they may love it and use it in different ways and we need to respect all of that."
Some of the club's ideas are restoring brick streets on Drayton and Whittaker and adding restrooms to the south end of the park.
Pindar says a stewardship plan will make sure those kinds of decisions are based on history.
Where are those facilities put? That's where we hope the stewardship planning becomes involved because you just don't want to plop things down without recognizing that there is a structure to this park," she said. "Give to the city that plan that reflects those significant periods of history for the park rather than just willy-nilly putting things here and there," she said.
More than just the practical management, Pindar and the club hope the documents get the park historic designation
"I think it's come as a surprise to both the state and the federal government entities that the Park is not on the historic register"
They hope that designation opens up funding opportunities to keep the park place so many love so much