Residents who live near Forsyth Park voice concerns on new master plan

ByBria Bolden|April 21, 2021 at 10:36 PM EDT - Updated April 22 at 12:13 AM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Friends of Forsyth Park and the City of Savannah held their fourth community meeting Wednesday night on proposed developments to Forsyth Park.

Residents of District 2 who live in the area of the park voiced their concerns about safety, preservation, and more.

“Forsyth is actually the center of the second district and I think moving forward, we have an opportunity right now to see what this park is going to look like, give our input on what we’d like to see in the park, and how the park should be best utilized,” said District 2 Alderman Detric Leggett.

Friends of Forsyth says about 2,300 people have responded to their survey on what they like, don’t like, and what they’d like to see change.

The group is funding the planning process and once a design plan is selected, the cost of it will be determined.

“The implementation timeline will be guided by the availability of funding. The idea though with phasing is that there will never be a moment where all of your recreational space will be eaten up by construction. It would all be incremental and sensitively done to the best extent possible,” said Charlotte Barrows, a landscape architect with Nelson Byrd Woltz.

Friends of Forsyth say historic preservation is a goal of the project. They say they don’t plan on doing much to the North end of the park and the parade grounds besides repairs and maintaining them.

“We also need to keep in mind our present-day and our future fellow Savannahians. When we talk about preservation, we also have to ask ourselves, what are we trying to preserve it as,” said Meb Ryan with Trustee’s Garden Club.

Alderman Leggett and neighborhood associations in the area plan to get together to discuss how this project will affect the community and how they’ll move forward.

Another topic many residents had questions about - the Confederate monument in the park.

Project leaders say because state law regulates changes to existing monuments, the group will not be making any future recommendations for it.

However, both design plans propose a new monument picked by the community towards the park’s South end.

You can tune in to the next community meeting on the proposed Forsyth Park Master Plan next Wednesday.

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