In a recent article in the AJC, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is brought into the spotlight. Here are some exerpts from the article:
For years, cross country teams across metro Atlanta have had free run of the popular trails at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. There, runners could get in their miles in sylvan surroundings.
But the days of unrestricted access for high school and college athletes may be coming to an end. Too many running teams, and the vehicles that bring them to Kennesaw, have strained the capacity of trails and parking lots, a top official said. The crush is particularly bad after work on weekdays and on weekends.
“We are simply at a point where the volume of usage at the park with organized athletic groups is in conflict with other park users,” said park superintendent Dan Brown. “I have gotten complaints from park visitors.”
They have complained, he said, that the teams essentially use what is a memorial site as a staging area to take off sweats, warm up and discard water bottles.
Large running squads can cause some individual visitors to “feel forced off the trail,” he said, as they sweep by in fast-moving packs.
Park officials plan to meet with area coaches today in an effort to find a solution. One prospect, Brown said, is to schedule days and times when each team is permitted to run. Some time blocks would be prohibited.
“We’re certainly going to ask for their input,” Brown said, “but there are some things we’ll definitely have to take a position on.”
What is your opinion about the situation? Have you found the athletic teams to be a problem or do you think they have every right to continue using the area for practices? SHARE YOUR OPINION!