The Dirt

Action Alert! Big Creek Update and Roswell City Council Meeting Tonight

Big Creek Update-

The proposal for the MOU for the development of the Tennis Center at Big Creek has been tabled. Thank you all for your support on social media, direct contact with Roswell City government and for the over 25,000 signatures on the petition to preserve Big Creek!

Although this proposal has been tabled, RAMBO, members of the MTB Atlanta Board, green space advocates and many of you from the Metro Atlanta MTB community will still be attending the City Council meeting in Roswell this evening in support of the preservation of Big Creek Park and recreational trails.

If you plan on attending, please be at Roswell City Hall at 5PM and wear a red shirt. The goal here is to “be seen.”

Details for the meeting:

As members of the Metro Atlanta MTB community, we know that you are passionate about the preservation of the places you love to ride. We want to remind everyone as an advocate and representative for the sport and the trails you love,  that you please conduct yourself with decorum and respect in the presence of the Mayor and the Roswell City Council.

Know that RAMBO’s Board has been in direct contact with the Roswell City government about this situation and that they have had a solid working relationship with the City for well over 15 years.  This relationship is the foundation on which our access and the trails at Big Creek Park has been built upon.

Our image as advocates is very important. Since this situation has developed, the MTB Atlanta Board has been contacted by other Metro Atlanta land managers about the Tennis Center proposal at Big Creek. Know that we have three active MOU proposals with different Metro governments in the works, two of which will likely be presented in front of their respective Councils this September for a vote of approval. These MOU’s will unlock the potential for up to 50 miles of new single track and Metro Atlanta’s first purpose built Bike Park.

Please portray yourself as the level headed conservationists and trail advocates we know that you are as other Metro governments are watching. We depend on willing land managers for access and trail development, without the support of MOU’s and local governments, trails simply do not get built or maintained.

Below are the official statements on the proposed MOU between the Krause Family Foundation and the City of Roswell for the development of the Angela Krause Tennis Center at Big Creek Park:

From the Krause Family Foundation:

To whom it may concern:

After discussions with a council person and others involved with our prospective project, AKTP&FC, we are in agreement that this project should not move forward at this time. We are hopeful that the mayor and council will schedule town hall meetings so that everyone can have a say, and a decision can be had as to what is the best use of their land know as Big Creek Park. We were told that the land was purchased to be an active park, as opposed to its current use as a passive park. With that information in mind, we felt as though a world class tennis, pickleball and fitness center would be a nice amenity for the citizens of Roswell. If this facility is not wanted by the majority of its citizens, we will look for another venture which will be a memorial for our daughter, Angela. For all off you that have expressed support, we thank you and hope that a positive resolution can be found in the near future.

From Mayor Lori Henry:

A Message from Mayor Lori Henry

Good evening. After speaking with Vernon Krause of the Krause Foundation this afternoon, we have jointly decided not to move forward with the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Roswell and the Krause Foundation to locate the Angela Krause Tennis, Pickleball and Fitness Center in Big Creek Park. The item will be taken off the Monday, August 13, 2018 Mayor and Council agenda.

When Mr. Krause approached the Mayor’s office with the generous offer of investing upwards of $50 million in a world-class tennis facility for the east side of Roswell, we were very excited about the project. We believed it would have been an economic catalyst for the east side, drawing other investment into that area and being a driver for redevelopment along the Holcomb Bridge Road corridor east of GA-400. We thought the tennis center would have given the east side of Roswell a destination that would draw people from all over the region. We heard a clear message last year from east side residents during the Economic Development Forums that creating a destination place for the east side was a priority and key desire.

However, the community has let us know over the past several days that they do not support this project for Big Creek Park. We want you to know we hear you again, so we will not be moving forward with it. In the coming months, we will hold a town hall meeting for further input from residents on the possibility and location of a tennis center in Roswell.

I want to thank Mr. Krause and the Krause Foundation for wanting to invest millions of dollars into our community to honor his daughter. I hope our community will be able to assist him in the future with his dream to build a facility in memory of Angela.

From the Roswell Alpharetta Mountain Bike Organization:

8/12/18 – Roswell, GA

The Roswell-Alpharetta Mountain Bike Organization (RAMBO) received the statements made this afternoon by Mayor Lori Henry and Vernon Krause agreeing to table further plans to pursue an MOU that would put the private Krause Family Tennis Center in the passive Big Creek Park.

We’re grateful to know they have heard the overwhelming voice of the citizens of the City of Roswell, that Big Creek Park was not the correct location for a private facility of this massive scale, as it would do so at the expense of clear cutting more than 60 acres of green space, miles of hiking and biking trails enjoyed by thousands locally and regionally, plus damage to the sensitive Big Creek Watershed and environment.

As Big Creek Park celebrates its 18th birthday this month, RAMBO looks forward to continuing to work with the City, its award-winning Parks Department, as well as local residents on ways to more clearly define the long-term plan that protects the natural green space we all enjoy in the park today.

Brad Wender
RAMBO President
40-year Roswell Resident

Thanks and see you tonight!

MTB Atlanta