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Fowler, Crown Jewel of Forsyth Parks, Now Open

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) called the new park "amazing" and added, "This will be a tremendous asset to Forsyth County."

“What a park!"

The greeting, delivered by Forsyth County Commission Chairman Brian Tam, was as good a way as any to welcome guests to the official opening of Fowler Park, the gleaming 85-acre crown jewel of parks that drew "oohs and aahs" from everyone who attended.

Even U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) called the park "simply amazing." Graves returned from Washington, D.C. this week to open a new district office in Gainesville and to visit what has to rank among the finest parks in north Georgia.

"Think of the lives that will be changed through all the competitive sports that will be played and the courage testing that will go on here," Graves said. "This park will be a tremendous asset to Forsyth County."

I was a reporter 10 years ago when former Commissioner John Kieffer urged county officials to purchase the property for the park. He had a great vision of what this property could become. Not many of us agreed with him and he endured a tremendous amount of criticism at the time.

But there was no criticism Friday. People were too busy shaking Kieffer's hand and congratulating him on turning his dream into a reality.

As one of those who heaped a fair portion of criticism on Kieffer, I asked him to reflect back.

"That's all water under the bridge," he said, beaming with pride. "It was worth it. This is a beautiful park."

Beautiful and unique.

In addition to an endless array of baseball, softball, football, soccer and lacrosse fields, there are lighted tennis courts, basketball courts, walking trails, a track, a massive and beautiful pavilion to host private events.

One of the many exciting features of Fowler Park is the incredible skate park where half a dozen skateboarders and bicyclists showed no interest in opening day political speeches at all. They were too busy defying gravity on bikes and skateboards as they sped down one side of a deep bowl-shaped concrete pad and up the other ending in an acrobatic jump that seemed to defy gravity.

Fowler Park is located on Carolene Way, off Hwy. 9 and Castleberry Rd. in the south Forsyth district represented by Commissioner Todd Levent.

Levent thanked everyone who worked on developing the park.

"This is another jewel and just one more reason for (Forsyth County) to brag about how great we are," Levent said. "This is simply the grandest park I have ever seen.

Jean February 26, 2011 at 02:50 PM
How about letting us know the directions to this park? Where is Caroline Way? Since we relocated to Cumming there is always the streets mentioned but never how to find them! After we get to Atlantic h'way then what?
Liz Kennedy (Editor) February 26, 2011 at 03:14 PM
Hi Jean, the address is 4110 Carolene Way, off Hwy. 9 and Castleberry Rd. in south Forsyth. Hope this helps - tells us what you think of the park when you check it out!
Jean February 26, 2011 at 04:29 PM
Have to wait to get our navigator thingy redone to be able to get there. :)) It doesn't accept the newer addresses. We're sure it will be a great place for the kids and younger set. Now how about us handicapped and just plain old folks? The new swimming place will be great BUT there are health reasons why I won't be able to use that. Thanks for your kind reply.
Jim Kolassa April 11, 2011 at 12:38 PM
How much did this cost . . and rather than a crown jewel . . . could they have made it into a simple park inside and save millions . . . kids don't care. This is all about making the BOC look good to themselves again.
Bill April 11, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Thanks for reading Cumming Patch, Jim. Your point is well made. Although, I'm not sure opening such an expensive facility in a struggling economy makes them "look good."
Jean April 11, 2011 at 05:43 PM
I agree with you Jim. Why not just some benches and picnic tables with stoves for grilling? They overdo everything.
Michelle Helms April 11, 2011 at 07:54 PM
I believe the cost of the park was made public to the taxpayers before the SPLOST vote in 2007-2008 , which was a vote on a $100 million bond, approved by the taxpayers. The park doesn't JUST provide for children's sports and activities, there are several other purposes, such as a walking trail, recreation center (being built), dog park, skate park and 15 tennis courts. All of these are provided to Forsyth County residents free of cost. Adult soccer and lacrosse leagues also lease these facilities from the county, which goes right back to the taxpayers by way of the county budget.
Mark DiJohn April 11, 2011 at 09:09 PM
As a Realtor, these parks draw in more homeowners than people imagine. As I show homes in the county, I make it a point to show my clients the quality of parks we are providing our residents. Just putting in benches and throwing down some stepping stones doesn't do it by todays standards. I come from the North, where we have parks designed around keeping the costs as low as possible, and the quality is significantly poor. Forsyth County should be proud of their parks and as buyers begin to enter the arena of purchasing a home again, having a park that meets today's family needs will bring this county a windfall in returns in the near future.
Terry April 30, 2011 at 05:17 AM
What's the point of spending the money to build a park that no one will go to compared to spending the money and building something extraordinary that will problem make them more money in the long run and pay the park off? With everything they have out there and all the teams and organizations that will be leasing, they'll make the money back in no time and it gives something great to the community to be outdoors and more family oriented with. In the long run it seems like it'd make the population much happier because we all know forth county is very limited in choice of things to do anyway. I think its wonderful and opens a whole new world of things to do.

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