ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Board has approved an adjustment to parking fees at state parks. The daily parking fee will increase from $3 to $5 per vehicle (12 passenger or less) and the annual pass will increase from $30 to $50, effective May 20, 2009. Discounts are available for seniors age 62 and older, active duty military and veterans. ParkPass was introduced in 1992. This is the second increase in the 17-year existence of the program.
Revenue generated from parking fees is used for maintenance and repair projects at Georgia’s 63 state parks and historic sites. Annually, ParkPass fees currently generate about $3 million in revenue. With the fee increase, expected annual revenue will be about $4.25 million.
According to DNR Board Chairman Bill Carruth, "even with the parking fee increase, state parks are an exceptional value. A family of five can easily enjoy a full day of outdoor recreation including great hiking, biking, fishing, boating, birding, picnicking, swimming and more for only one dollar per person."
To ensure access to all Georgians, Wednesdays will remain free parking days and, through the Library Loan Program, anyone with a valid library card can check out a ParkPass at any public library in the state. Outdoor enthusiasts who want to save money while supporting Georgia’s state parks can join the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, a non-profit organization with more than 40 chapters across the state. Membership levels begin at $45 for individuals and $70 for families. To join, call 1-888-948-2092 or log on to www.friendsofgastateparks.org. Membership to the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites includes an annual ParkPass and other benefits.