Our guest on Thursday, May 26 will be David Rosinger. We’ll be discussing the Save Simpsonwood Park movement that has been growing among some citizens with regard to Gwinnett County Parks plans for the new park.
Via the Save Simpsonwood Park website:
The art of stealth politics is to do one thing while leading the public to believe you are doing the opposite.
On the one hand Gwinnett Parks and Recreation boasts about its mission to “protect nearly 10,000 acres of park lands including its forest [sic],” Yet on the other hand it plans to pay design firms and contractors to “improve” Simpsonwood by clearing out acres of trees to make room for tons of asphalt.
When Simpsonwood was acquired from the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, we were told by the new owners that the land was to be a “passive park.” That designation presumably makes these 223 acres different from other county properties, which typically serve as venues for ball fields, playgrounds, dog pens, barbeque grills and picnic tables.
“Passive” carries the implication of inactive, inert, quiescent; a natural environment as in the hiker’s code, “Leave it as you found it.” But for Gwinnett Parks and Recreation, the word is infinitely expandable. It can be used to reassure the public that the environment is being vigilantly guarded while at the same time being applied to the process of clearing out forests and installing a variety of man-made structures.
Read the entire blog here.
The Chapel at Simpsonwood Facebook page
GoFundMe effort by the Save Simpsonwood Group
According to the AJC:
The county has removed 277 parking spaces, the decaying Simpsonwood Conference Center’s 170 rooms, dining space and 20,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 28-member steering committee, made up of a mix of Peachtree Corners and Gwinnett-at-large residents, has voted down numerous ideas since their inception shortly after the Simpsonwood purchase. There are no plans for soccer fields or a dog park.
Save Simpsonwood members see converting any of the existing nature trails to 12-foot wide paved multi-use trails as highly disruptive to the wildlife and in opposition to the concept of a passive park. They express equal concern about disrupting any of the 2,140 linear feet of river frontage.
The county and steering committee seem to be trying to strike a balance between conservationists concerns and efforts to make the park accessible to as many residents as possible.
The Simpsonwood Citizens Steering Committee will reveal the proposed master plan at a drop-in meeting 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 30 at the Simpsonwood United Methodist Church, 4500 Jones Bridge Circle.
Save Simpsonwood: www.savesimpsonwood.com
Simpsonwood Citizens Steering Committee: