SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Friends of Forsyth and the city of Savannah are introducing the draft Forsyth Park Master plan, after almost a year of collecting feedback from the community.
More than 70 people attended the virtual meeting on Tuesday afternoon to see the proposal. Residents have several ways to view the draft plan and share their feedback.
The draft will be posted on friendsofforsyth.org until the end of the month for residents to view the plan and offer comments.
Project leaders say the overall layout of one of Savannah’s most treasured places will not change.
“The ultimate goal for the plan from the beginning is much of the things the community said they wanted, which is to maintain the historic integrity, to protect this wondrous tree canopy and plan for its future,” said Eleanor Rhangos, co-chair of the Forsyth Park Master Plan.
Some of the proposed projects include:
- A children’s garden
- Improved lighting
- Restrooms on the south end
- A 14 foot-wide bike and pedestrian path
- A redesign of the bandshell stage
Changes will not come all at once, but over time.
“It is going to take probably decades to implement this plan,”Rhangos said. “It’s really meant to be what we’re calling a 50 year plan for the park. As I mentioned before, we know the park is going to evolve, so how do we do that in a way that makes sense for the park and protects it.”
Leaders did not know the total estimated cost of the plan, but said it will be included in the final draft presented to the city. Rhangos said the master plan is meant to represent the community’s vision.
“I think all of us over the last 18 months – if we didn’t before – have really come to realize how crucial public spaces are,” she said. “Seeking refuge in places like Forsyth Park has meant a lot to everyone. This park has always been precious, it’s one of the oldest municipal parks in the country, so having a plan to protect it and guide its future is really, really important.”
You can submit comments until Sept. 30 by clicking here.
The draft will also be made available in the park on two Saturdays — Sept. 18 and 25 — from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Officials say the project will move into its final design phase in October and conclude by the end of the year.
The city and Friends of Forsyth have been collecting surveys and comments on proposed redesigns for nearly a year, garnering more than 4,500 survey responses.
“The level of community participation in this process over the past 11 months is unprecedented,” said Mayor Van Johnson. “Thousands of residents from across Savannah have made their voices heard, and their input has directly driven the design of this draft plan.”
The Trustees’ Garden Club is fully funding the project and seeks to register the park as a National Historic Landmark.