December 2017

A Million Dollar Value in Volunteer Hours!

Volunteers working in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) – known as VIPs or Volunteers in Parks – contributed more than 41,500 hours in the past year to help our national park on 110 projects: trail maintenance, removal of fallen trees, trash cleanup, environmental education for underserved youth, CPC activities to support the park and more.

The impressive statistics were announced at the annual VIP Recognition Lunch which was held at Hewlett Lodge in early December and organized by CRNRA Volunteer Coordinator Dave Thomas. Using a current rate of $24.14 for every volunteer hour (determined annually by Independent Sector), the time donated by more than 4,400 volunteers represents a total value of $1 million!

Penny Costanzo, environmental educator, and Sally Bethea, CPC board president, were honored as Volunteers of the Year. Other award-winners: Julie Burroughs – Golden Tire Award; Fred Andrew – Golden Poop Bag Award; David Lampp – Most Volunteer Hours (1800!); and Lynn LaBudde – First Certified Fee Volunteer. We’d love to get you involved too! For more information, visit Photo: Penny Costanzo (L) and Sally Bethea - 2017 CRNRA Volunteers of the Year.


Tom Wilson loves using photography to show people the beauty and diversity of the river that flows through Atlanta. He says: “Most of all I just enjoy being there to make photos. I hope my images entice people to come explore the beautiful Chattahoochee River that’s right here, in their backyard.” We are all tremendously fortunate that the frequent subject of his work, over many years, has been the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area: its wildlife, plants and people. 

Tom has generously shared his award-winning images with CPC and other conservation organizations to support our advocacy and education programs. In the mid-2000s, his work was selected by the National Park Service to be the centerpiece of the Chattahoochee "Healthy Parks" Campaign, appearing on MARTA buses and billboards throughout metro Atlanta. More recently, Tom supplied images for a new display at the CRNRA’s Visitor Center at Hewlett Lodge. Retired in 2016 from a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America, Tom is pursuing nature photography fulltime, while he also enjoys hiking, camping, birding, amateur astronomy and astrophotography. See


to our members and donors who helped make 2017 a record year for CPC! Notables include: National Park Foundation, Lennox International, REI, Canopy Foundation, Parsonson Foundation, Childress Foundation and IBM.

Click here to view a list of all CPC has accomplished in 2017, thanks to YOU!

Give the Park a Boost for 2018!

Next year is going to be a very exciting one for the CRNRA and our organization. Will you show your love for our national park by making a year-end donation to Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy TODAY? Your gift, in whatever amount, will be used to improve land trails, enhance our water trail, educate kids, support volunteers and upgrade facilities.

As a CPC supporter, you receive a monthly e-newsletter, boat rental discounts (thanks to Nantahala Outdoor Center), and invitations to CPC events like the Member Celebration. It’s easy to give back and show your love at


Become a member of Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy today!

As a member, you can help us achieve our vision of an inspired and thriving community of support for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Click here to join!

Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy Inc. is proud to support our Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, a unit of the national park system managed by the National Park Service.

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