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POSTED: August 20, 2012 1:07 p.m.

Put away your wallet and pull out your fishing pole. Visitors to Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites will not pay for parking or admission on Saturday, Sept. 29 as part of “Your State Parks Day.” Sponsored by the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, the celebration brings attention to ways that parks enrich communities, plus the importance of local volunteerism. Parking is normally $5 at state parks, and admission ranges from $2.50 to $10 at state historic sites.

“We’re calling this celebration ‘Your State Parks Day’ to remind Georgians that state parks and historic sites belong to them,” said Andy Fleming, executive director of the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. “Parks add so much to our lives. We’re hoping more people will visit the state park closest to their homes, and that they’ll join one of the service projects happening that day.”

The statewide event includes numerous volunteer projects and family-friendly programs. At Fort Yargo, mountain bikers will work on trails, at Hard Labor Creek, rangers will lead a wildlife kayaking expedition, and at Unicoi, visitors can help clean up Smith Creek. A full calendar is posted at http://bit.ly/P0zlvA.

Friends is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Georgia’s state parks and historic sites in many ways. Some members serve as campground hosts, others lead programs such as guided hikes, and some help with basic maintenance. Most members support the organization simply by purchasing annual memberships.

“It’s no secret that state park systems across the country are struggling with limited funds and resources,” said Fleming. “We’re helping fill that gap. And regular park visitors can help too, by visiting more often, by staying overnight more often and by volunteering when they can.”

Georgia is known for its exceptional state park system that provides a variety of outdoor recreation while also protecting natural and cultural resources. Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, boating, geocaching, picnicking, golf and numerous other activities. Historically significant places such as Etowah Indian Mounds and Roosevelt’s Little White House tell the story of Georgia’s rich past.

Cabins, lodges, campgrounds and yurts let visitors spend short getaways and longer vacations within the parks, putting hiking trails and fishing lakes right outside their door. Reservations can be made online at GeorgiaStateParks.org/reservations and by calling 1-800-864-7275.

Free parking and admission during “Your State Parks Day” is available to all Georgia residents and visitors. Participating locations can be found on GeorgiaStateParks.org, including Cloudland Canyon, Skidaway Island, Victoria Bryant, Dahlonega Gold Museum, Kolomoki Mounds and dozens of other destinations. Because Stone Mountain, Jekyll Island and Lake Lanier are not operated by the Department of Natural Resources’ State Parks Division, they are not included in the free day.

“We are thankful for the support that our Friends members give us,” said State Parks Director Becky Kelley. “We wouldn’t be able to offer this free day to Georgians without their help. Hopefully, more people will take this opportunity to explore parks that are right in their own communities.”

The day-long celebration is also in honor of National Public Lands Day and is a Georgia SHAPE Initiative.

-END-

Main Websites:
GeorgiaStateParks.org
FriendsofGaStateParks.org List of "Your State Parks Day" Events:
All on September 29, 2012
For more details on each event, visit http://bit.ly/P0zlvA

Colonial Cricket Games
Wormsloe Historic Site
Savannah, GA

Red Top Mountain Wildlife Garden Planting
Red Top Mountain State Park
Cartersville, GA

Do Your Part to Preserve Seminole
Seminole State Park
Donalsonville, GA

Cloudland Canyon Clean-up
Cloudland Canyon State Park
Rising Fawn, GA

Beautification Project at George L. Smith
8am to 5pm
George L. Smith State Park
Twin City, GA

Clean Up at Reed Bingham
8am to 12pm
Reed Bingham State Park
Adel, GA

Clean Up Day at High Falls
8am to 12:30pm
High Falls State Park
Jackson, GA

Volunteer Workday at Fort Yargo
8:30am to 1pm
Fort Yargo State Park
Winder, GA

Rivers Alive at Unicoi
9am to 2pm
Unicoi State Park and Lodge
Helen, GA

CCC Camp Workday at Hard Labor
9am to 1pm
Hard Labor Creek State Park
Rutledge, GA

Volunteer Day at Black Rock
9am to 1pm
Black Rock Mountain State Park
Mountain City, GA

Little White House Self-Guided Tour
9am to 5pm
Roosevelt's Little White House Historic Site
Warm Springs, GA

Native Wildflower Planting at Panola
9am to 12pm
Panola Mountain State Park
Stockbridge, GA

George T. Bagby Beautification
9am to 12pm
George T. Bagby State Park and Lodge
Fort Gaines, GA

Skidaway Narrows Clean Up
9am to 12pm
Skidaway Island State Park
Savannah, GA

Lakeside Beautification at Laura S. Walker
9am to 3pm
Laura S. Walker State Park
Waycross, GA

The Great Clean Up at A. H. Stephens
9am
A.H. Stephens Historic Park
Crawfordville, GA

Keep it Green, Pick it Clean at Tallulah
9am to 2pm
Tallulah Gorge State Park
Tallulah Falls, GA

Be there for the Gold
9am to 4pm
Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site
Dahlonega, GA

Watson Mill State Park Clean-up
9am to 2pm
Watson Mill Bridge State Park
Comer, GA

Amicalola Day Clean-up
9am to 5pm
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge
Dawsonville, GA

Clean-up & Fishing Rodeo at Indian Springs
9am
Indian Springs State Park
Flovilla, GA

Fantastic Family Fun Weekend
10am to 10pm
General Coffee State Park
Nicholls, GA

Build Trails at Chattahoochee Bend State Park
10am to 3pm
Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Newnan, GA

Nandinas: Love 'em or Hate 'em
10am to 1pm
James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park
Summerville, GA

Hike, Picnic & Tour New Echota
10am to 12:30pm
New Echota Historic Site
Calhoun, GA

Fun Day at Etowah Indian Mounds
10am to 2pm
Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site
Cartersville, GA

Kid's Fish Fest
12pm to 5pm
Elijah Clark State Park
Lincolnton, GA

Moccasin Creek Clean-up
1pm to 3pm
Moccasin Creek State Park
Clarkesville, GA

Reptile Rodeo
1:30pm to 2:30pm
Reed Bingham State Park
Adel, GA

A Murder Mystery in Colonial Darien
7pm to 8:30pm
Fort King George Historic Site
Darien, GA

"Ruins to Rapids" Full Moon Hike
8pm to 10pm
Sweetwater Creek State Park
Lithia Springs, GA

 

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