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Friends of parks group mobilize support after budget cuts
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ATLANTA —  In light of the recent announcement from DNR Commissioner Noel Holcomb regarding possible state park and historic site closings, Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites is developing an action plan to help mobilize local chapters and members in support of the state park system and to advocate against further cuts to the system's operating budget. The group plans to work with the commissioner, the division and its members to mitigate the impact of the proposed.
Since 2002, the Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division has sustained budget reductions. Through these reductions, Friends has worked with the division to minimize the negative impact on the safety, security and quality of experience for park guests while avoiding closures.
"These cuts are simply too deep for the PRHSD staff to continue to manage without affecting service to the public," Andy Fleming, executive director of Friends said. "We exist to support the parks and historic sites across the state. We intend to ramp up that support even further and to help the parks in whatever way we can during this crisis."
In fact, Friends has contributing more than $2 million in volunteer services and park/site improvements. With nearly 8,000 memberships representing more than 20,000 Georgians, the organization has consistently provided volunteers and funding to help make the system of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites one of the nation's best.
"With almost 40 local chapters statewide, we are uniquely positioned to help the parks and sites at both the state and local levels," Fleming said.  "While we are concerned about the impact of potential closures to our chapters and members, we also recognize the impact on all Georgians who utilize and enjoy our state's fabulous state park system."
With almost 40 Chapter Friends Organizations across the state, Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites is a growing group of dedicated people who show their support in a number of ways. For more information, contact Friends at 770-975-7533 or visit
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