COLUMBUS, Ga. – Members of the community voiced their concerns over plans to develop Standing Boy Creek State Park. They packed the room to hear what kind of plans the Department of Natural Resources is looking into for the area Thursday night.
Some of items in Thursday night’s master plan for Standing Boy Creek State Park include cottages, mountain bike and hiking trails, a large event pavilion, and an Alpine Slide. The DNR estimates 95 of the 1,485 acres would be developed.
More than 100 folks came to Thursday night’s master plan, which got a bit heated.
“I’m worried about the crime. I’m worried about overnights,” one community member said.
Eric Bentley with Georgia State Parks says the main takeaway from the master plan meeting is that the community is concerned about the ideas that would impact the environment.
“They wanted to see more low impact items such as walking trails, mountain bike trails, disc golf,” Bentley said.
Travis Hargrove’s yard backs up to the park.
“My concerns are this is a pristine wildlife area and it is open to public travel right now and open to hunters and we’ve got no issue with that. However, what they’ve proposed includes a rock and roll pavilion where bands can be playing at all hours of the night,” he said.
Hargrove also says he’s concerned about the amount of people camping would bring, lowering his property value, and the funding and revenue. Jason McKenzie with Ride on Bikes likes the idea of low impact developments.
“I think focusing on mountain bike trails, hiking, and disc golf is, you know, it’s a great move for Columbus not only for the travel it will bring to this area, but now we have whitewater one night and mountain biking the next day,” he explained.
He thinks these types of activities would not only benefit his business, but also positively impact hotels and restaurants.
Bentley expects the development for Standing Boy Creek State Park to cost about 15 to 18 million dollars.