November 2019

Fixing Our Park!

We are thrilled to announce that CPC has secured a $50,000 grant through the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta – our largest gift to date! These funds will be used for a priority park project: to replace a deteriorating river observation deck at Jones Bridge Shoals, which is increasingly unsafe for park visitors. The existing deck, which offers spectacular views of the Chattahoochee and the shoals, is at least four decades old. A second gift of $10,000 from a generous friend of the park has made it possible for us to begin deck construction in early 2020.

Project Updates: CPC continues to work with a contractor and park staff to replace the aging kids fishing pier at the Island Ford Pond. This project should be completed by year-end – ready for the more than 900 young people that use it annually with their families, park rangers, youth groups and summer camps. In 2020, we hope to secure funds needed to replace a river observation deck in the Cochran Shoals Unit; gifts in memory of Michael Kaye, a member of Chattahoochee Road Runners, have kicked off this fundraising effort.

If you would like to make a donation to help us replace the Cochran Shoals observation deck and/or other park facilities, please contact Phillip Hodges at

Chattahoochee RiverLands Public Forum

This Saturday, November 2, a public forum about the Chattahoochee RiverLands Project will be held from 10am-4pm at the C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center (3201 Martin Luther King, Jr Drive SW Atlanta, GA 30311). The open house-style event offers an opportunity for you to share your thoughts on several alignments for the proposed 100-mile multi-modal trail in the Chattahoochee River corridor from Buford Dam to Chattahoochee Bend State Park. The RiverLands Project has been described as “a linear network of greenways and blueways that will bring people to the water’s edge, promote conservation and reveal the subtle magic of the Chattahoochee to all.” Learn more here.

Member Celebration Roundup

    Thanks to the 80 people who joined us on October 20 – a gorgeous fall day in the CRNRA – to celebrate the progress that we are making together to help our national park be the best it can be! On the deck at the Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center (CREEC), CPC board president Phillip Hodges and board member Alex Hinerfeld recognized special volunteers and supporters: Dyna and John Kohler, Cynthia Patterson, Tory Vornholt, Chattahoochee Road Runners and immediate past board president Sally Bethea. Sally summarized CPC’s accomplishments over the past year and the event speaker, Ranger Jerry Hightower, entertained the group with facts, legends and myths about the Chattahoochee River corridor over the past 600 million years.

    Our December issue of Park Post will present CPC’s annual By the Numbers: a list of the successes accomplished by CPC and the CRNRA over the past year with your help; our members will also receive a letter with these details. We hope and believe that you’ll be so inspired you will make a year-end, tax-deductible gift to our organization! It’s easy to do here.

    25 Years in the Park: River Through Atlanta Guide Service 

    Inspired by the movie “A River Runs Through It” and his first drift boat trip down the Snake River, local fisherman Chris Scalley decided in the early 1990s that he wanted to start a fly-fishing guide service in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. He approached Gary Merriman, the owner of The Fish Hawk Fly Shop, who hired Chris in 1994 to work four days in retail sales and guide on his days off. In 1995, the Chattahoochee River became a year-round trout fishery and a successful, full-time guide service became possible. In 2000, Chris bought a second drift boat and hired an additional guide to help manage his burgeoning clientele.

    Today, River Through Atlanta has a fleet of seven boats and working relationships with fifteen guides for fishing and waterfowl hunting; the company has been ORVIS-endorsed since 2003. In 1998, Chris formed the Chattahoochee Coldwater Fishery Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect the sport fishery in the CRNRA by monitoring the critters that inhabit its waters, e.g. macro-invertebrates and wild trout propagation. The eleven years of data collected by the foundation have been extremely useful in understanding the fishery within the park. CPC congratulates our friend Chris Scalley on his 25th anniversary!

    It's Atlanta - and the CRNRA!

    In September, the national magazine Outside picked four urban centers with a “perfect mix of city life and just-around-the-corner adventure.” Our ATL was listed as #1 with “world-class access to the outdoor,” including in-town paddling and fishing in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area! Read the story here.

    Things to Do

    iNaturalist – Check out this great website to identify flora and fauna in the CRNRA and post your own observations.

    Volunteer in the Park! Help the CRNRA by donating your time to maintain trails and assist with events, youth programs and administrative tasks. Visit to get involved. Give forty hours and get a free annual parking pass. Monthly volunteer meetings are held at the Island Ford Visitor Center; the next one is scheduled for Nov 14. Volunteer calendar here.

    Volunteer Trail Day at Bowmans Island – Sat, Nov 2 (8:45-1pm). Meet at the Corps of Engineers Lower Pool parking lot off Buford Dam Rd. Contact NPS Volunteer Coordinator Ranger Dave Thomas at for details and to register.

    FREE Day in the Park – Mon, Nov 11. The NPS invites all visitors to visit any unit in the national park system for free on Veterans Day, which means no parking fee in the CRNRA. As always, senior citizens (62+) can purchase a lifetime pass to all national park units for just $80, plus a $10 handling fee. Details here.

    Volunteer Trail Day at Cochran Shoals – Sat, Nov 16. Meet at 8:45am at the Columns Drive entrance. Contact NPS Volunteer Coordinator Ranger Dave Thomas at for details and to register.

    Autumn Owl Prowl – Sat, Nov 16 (6:30-9pm). Join the National Park Service for a campfire, guided night hike and live owl program presented on the deck at the Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center (8615 Barnwell Rd, Johns Creek, GA). Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. Reservations are required at 678-538-1200.

    Paddling Film Festival – Sat, Nov 23 (6-9pm). Join CPC and Paddle4Tomorrow at the Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center in Johns Creek for this FREE event. For a sneak preview, go here. Registration required here.

    #OptOutside on Black Friday! – Nov 29. For the fifth year, our partner REI is closing its stores on Black Friday and urging everyone to get outside with friends and family. Take a walk, a run or paddle in the national park in Atlanta’s backyard – the CRNRA!

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

      Address: PO Box 769332, Roswell, GA