Proposed Tanglewood Park multi-use event center causes concern

Piedmont Triad News

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Forsyth County Commissioners are looking to use a part of the voter-approved 2016 parks and recreation facilities bond to build a 50,000 square foot, $5 million multi use event center at Tanglewood Park.

People in favor of the proposed center believe the center would be an asset at the popular park and draw events like trade shows and equestrian events. Others feel the additional crowds could overwhelm the scenic park.

Anne Gould boards her horse, Vinny, at Tanglewood Park. Gould said the park’s rolling hills and woods make Tanglewood an ideal place to keep and ride her horse.

“It’s peaceful. It’s quiet. It’s not in the middle of the city. It’s a wonderful place to ride horses and meet people,” Gould said.

So the idea of building a multi-use event center has Gould concerned. Along with an event center, a large parking lot, outdoor spaces for events, barns, and a horse trailer parking lot would be built on pastures currently used by horses.

“I don’t think the park is set up to handle that amount of people,” Gould said. “It would destroy the peace and the habitat.”

A row of trees separates Tanglewood Park from a nearby neighborhood. Linda Turley is a homeowner and enjoys the beauty of the woods. Turley said in order to build the proposed event center, the trees would have to come down.

“It makes me sick to my stomach. To think my backyard that is so peaceful and I get all this shade. It would be gone,” Turley said.

Homeowners are also concerned about Johnson’s Creek. Johnson’s Creek winds through the neighborhood, Tanglewood Park, and empties into the Yadkin River. During heavy rain events, the creek floods, swallowing horse pastures and basements. Turley fears flooding along Johnson’s Creek could become worse and more frequent if the woods were replaced by concrete.

“The trees, the natural ground, if you take that away and you put up a 50,000 square foot building, that area is no longer accepting rainwater. It’s going to run off,” Turley said.

Horse owners and homeowners believe there are better ways to use bond money that is geared toward improving Forsyth County parks.

“So take that money and give the horses some higher pastureland, upgrade the barns, finish the walking trails… it’s a construction project that’s still in progress,” Turley said.

“I can see building facilities for seniors. Our seniors could use an exercising area,” Gould said.

Forsyth County will hold two community meetings about the proposed multi-use event center. The first one is Wednesday, July 28, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Tanglewood Park’s Red Barn.

The second community meeting will be on Aug. 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Forsyth County Government Center. Due to increasing COVID cases, people are strongly encouraged to attend the second meeting virtually at this link.

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