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Virtual community meetings being held to present draft master plan for Forsyth Park

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:26 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Tuesday kicks off the final opportunities for the public to voice their opinions on the Master Plan for Forsyth Park.

The latest draft will be released on Sept. 14 and they are looking for some feedback before the final plan gets approved.

The first opportunity will be at two virtual community meetings Tuesday, one at 2 p.m. and another at 6 p.m., then the draft will be uploaded to the website for additional feedback.

For almost a full year, the city of Savannah and Friends of Forsyth have been using community feedback combined with expert opinions to form the final stages of the Master Plan. The goal of the plan is to see the park preserved for generations to come with its tree canopy, open green space and historic integrity.

After nearly 4,500 responses from the community, the planning committee is ready to release their draft for final public comment before taking it to the city council for approval.

Meb Ryan, the Co-Chair of the Trustees Garden Club who is funding the Master Plan, says that they have made some changes since the last draft in April and that there will be no big design changes to the way Forsyth Park is currently structured.

“The other thing that we heard also is don’t add parking in the park, and so, that is something that is off the table. Other things that were said over and over is yes, we do want to see bathrooms on the southern end, yes, we do want to see a way to alleviate the tension between bikes and pedestrians in the park. I feel like we have come up with some great compromises and ideas to bring those ideas and wishes to fruition without taking away open space, inserting parking in the park, so we are really encouraged and excited,” said Meb Ryan, Co-Chair of Trustees Garden Club - Forsyth Park.

Another change in the proposed draft being discussed at each virtual meeting involves the band shell.

“We’re proposing to remove the band shell, because the existing band shell has structural, lighting and ceiling issues, and also gets slippery when kids come out of the splash pad. So we’re proposing to replace the band shell with a stage of the same area or larger, but pull it away from the cafe dummy fort to create more space for loading and unloading during events,” said Ellen Garrett, with planners Nelson Byrd Woltz.

The Forsyth Park Master Plan project will move into the final design phase in October and go to council for approval by the end of the year.

Advanced registration is required for the virtual meetings. Click here to register now.

Following the meetings, the draft will be online here, and you will be able to submit your comments there.

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