F’ville gets first look at 308-acre nature area off Burch Rd.
It was a preliminary look at what could become a nature area in Fayetteville on the 308-acre P.K. Dixon property south of Ga. Highway 54 at the end of Burch Road.
Members of the Fayetteville City Council on April 19 heard a presentation and gave consensus agreement on the master plan vision by Southern Conservation Trust representatives on the organization’s potential plans for the nature area.
The former P.K.Dixon property was obtained by the city several years ago. The heavily wooded property features Whitewater Creek running through the west side and Gingercake Creek on the east. The proposed 308-acre nature area would include 100 acres of uplands that would be the site of the majority of the potential amenities.
Southern Conservation Trust representatives Jerry Peterson and Pam Young outlined the master plan vision that has the goal of connecting people to nature and promoting activity and wellness.
Peterson said the evening’s presentation was geared to explaining the concept behind the project.
“We wanted you to look at it to make sure we’re going in the right direction,” Peterson said.
The proposal would have the amenities positioned on the high ground on the northeast side of the property that is outside the floodplain.
Features in the proposal included the erection of a stone wall at the end of Burch Road to accommodate both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Once inside, plans call for an abundance of walking trails and a welcome center, a tot lot for young children and picnic shelter where functions such as family reunions could be held. The area could feature a community garden and space for an outdoor classroom. The area might also be the future site of a nature center and the installation of biking trails, representatives said.
The lowlands areas could potentially feature a wetlands boardwalk, gazebo and a primitive scout site.
Tentative plans call for the nature area to be open from dawn until dusk.
And there is the potential for a canoe option, Peterson said, where the boats could put-in along Whitewater Creek and canoe unobstructed to Starr’s Mill.
“This (capability) doesn’t exist anywhere around here,” he said. “It could be exciting if all things work out.”
Potential names for the park include the Ridge Nature Area and Two Creek Nature Area.
An audience member at the meeting posed a question about the likely increase in traffic along Burch Road once the nature area opens and whether that might have a negative impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.
Young said the organization will be meeting with neighbors to solicit their input on the proposal project.
“We want to be a good neighbor for Burch Road,” Peterson said.
Asked by the council how Southern Conservation Trust would handle liability issues, Young said the organization’s policy would cover the property because they are managing the area. The organization currently manages the Line Creek Nature Area in Peachtree City that has approximately 30,000 visitors each year, Young said.
Pertaining to a question about on-site staffing, Young said the organization is currently exploring how that might work.
Bottom line, said Young, “We want to provide a community asset for families.”
The council at the end of the presentation gave a consensus approval of the direction Southern Conservation Trust is heading with plans for the nature area.