Imagine what it would feel like to reach into your pocket and find a lottery ticket you didn’t remember buying. You check the numbers and discover that you’ve won the jackpot. That’s sort of what it felt like to buy a house in Peachtree Corners a few months ago, only to discover that our back yard borders with Simpsonwood Park.
Of course the real estate agent mentioned something about the woods behind our new house had been purchased from the Methodist Church by Gwinnett County, but we had no idea what Simpsonwood really is — a chance to experience what heaven must be like, a pristine natural experience hidden in the suburbs north of Atlanta.
Simpsonwood Park is “223 acres of unspoiled natural beauty on the Chattahoochee River” according to a postcard sent by the people associated with the website www.savesimpsonwood.com. Though I have no official affiliation with that organization, I have decided that I firmly support their cause and plan to attend the meeting to be held this Thursday, June 30th, at the Simpsonwood United Methodist Church located at 4500 Jones Bridge Circle in Peachtree Corners.
According to the organized opposition to the plans to develop Simpsonwood Park, hundreds of trees will be cut down to allow for paving roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. These changes will be in spite of the fact that Jones Bridge Park, located only about a mile from Simpsonwood and has much easier, more direct access to the general public. Conversely, the main entrance to Simpsonwood can only be accessed by making several turns and using roads that navigate through residential areas.
Obviously, Simpsonwood Park must get fairly continuous use for the ubiquitous bare dirt paths to be so well established and easy to follow. Not only are joggers, bike riders, hikers, and dog walkers on these trails every day, plenty of wildlife also enjoy the serenity of Simpsonwood’s natural beauty. Even when the temperature is above 90 degrees in the direct sun, the trails in the park are well shaded and comfortable, even in the heat of the day.
The last thing Simpsonwood Park needs is for large numbers of trees to be cut down and tons of concrete to be poured. The people that extensive development will impact most (and the wildlife, of course) hope for minimal changes to the existing infrastructure.
Please don’t simply take my word for it — I’m relatively late to the protest movement. Please learn more about this issue by visiting the website at savesimpsonwood.com. The more organized opposition will educate you far better than I can in the limited amount of time left before the public meeting.
Once the damage to the park has been done, it cannot be undone. This travesty must be stopped before it ever starts. The problem (as I understand it) seems to be that county officials have our tax dollars burning holes in their pockets. A government bureaucrat will screw up a steel ball unless we the people don’t allow them.
If you support preserving the natural beauty of Simpsonwood Park, please consider attending the meeting this Thursday to make your voice heard:
Public Meeting @ Simpsonwood United Methodist Church
4500 Jones Bridge Road
Peachtree Corners, 30092