MILTON — The city of Milton has opened its newest green space to the public – 21 acres of pasture-like terrain by the corner of Freemanville and Birmingham Roads.
The property features a parking lot large enough for horse trailers to turn around, making it yet another functional equestrian destination in Milton.
While residents and their horses can traverse tree-lined trails at Birmingham Park — which is now undergoing its own equestrian-friendly upgrades — the Freemanville-Birmingham green space contains flatter meadows and Milton-style fencing ideal for a different kind of ride.
All Milton residents can use the space, not just those with horses.
“We’re excited for people, and their animals, to use this fantastic and distinct property,” said Parks and Recreation Director Tom McKlveen. “Milton’s parks system is growing, and this particular green space is one of a kind.”
In fall 2016, 82.86% of Milton voters approved $25 million in bonds to acquire land for passive parks, trails and green space – with the condition that, if opened, there be passive uses so no active recreation — such as ball fields or traditional organized recreational programming — on the properties. Some of the land purchased has been set aside for conservation and as wildlife habitats, while a few were considered to open for public use.
The City purchased the Freemanville-Birmingham green space in April 2019, using $1.4 million from the green space bond fund. In the subsequent months, city staff engaged with stakeholders and others about what could and should be done with this property. These partners included the Milton Equestrian Committee, a group consisting of individuals appointed by the mayor and city council members who share insights, expertise and recommendations with City staff while promoting the rights and interests of equestrian enthusiasts and farm owners.
“A City property like this one can help build upon Milton’s proud equestrian heritage and further establish Milton as a highly sought-after equestrian community,” said Equestrian Committee Chair Tony Rich. “We are fortunate to have different spaces like this one that any citizen, and their horses, can enjoy.”
Milton’s Public Works team, specifically Capital Projects Manager Matt Fallstrom and Infrastructure Inspector Josh Rogers, oversaw the project constructed by Buckeye Land Management that led to the public opening of these 21 acres. The components included creating the parking lot, installing and repairing fencing, and generally ensuring that the grounds are safe and suitable.
“We are very pleased with the result with how this project, and property, turned out,” Public Works Director Sara Leaders said. “And we’re thankful to all those involved in making it happen.”
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