Monday, April 14, 2014

Milton: Equestrian center not on radar.

No plans for new horse facilities.

by Jonathan Copsey / The Milton Herald

MILTON, Ga. – Milton is known for its horses and riding culture. Many of the back roads in the north of the city have horse farms lining both sides of the street. However, the residents still depend upon neighboring Alpharetta's equestrian center and horse park for large events, being the largest in the region.

In part due to costs and the need for new sports fields, Alpharetta is considering abandoning the equestrian center, as their draft 2025 recreation and parks master plan shows.

Unfortunately, Milton has no plans to beef up its own horse programs or facilities in the immediate future.

"An equestrian center is not on our radar screen right now," said Jim Cregge, Milton's parks and recreation director. "We are working on other projects."

The expansion of Bell Memorial Park this year is chief among those "other projects."

Cregge said the city is working on its five-year master plan, and that horse facilities are not included.

"The plan calls for us to develop some trails for people to walk on, not necessarily horses, and more play space," he said. "We have nothing equestrian-focused in the next five years according to the master plan."

All plans are guides, he said, and the master plan could be changed if the elected officials decide it.

Milton's existing master plan details what the city currently has and what it will need in the future. However, it does not include any specific plans for horse-related activities other than horse trails. It does point out the possibility of a regional equestrian facility at Birmingham Park, which is undeveloped and already a popular spot for riders.

"If and when we do something equestrian, Birmingham Park is an option," Cregge said.

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