December 2019


Your Contributions at Work in the CRNRA!

This past year has been a banner one for Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy (CPC) and our growing capacity to help the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) be the very best park it can be. Your financial support and other assistance continue to be essential – thank you!

We hope you’ll enjoy our 2019 Highlights; it is our annual report to you summarizing the major accomplishments that CPC has achieved with membership fees, grants, donations and volunteer hours. Keep in mind that CPC is a volunteer-driven organization with no staff (yet), so we are particularly proud of what we have been able to accomplish. We’ve also included impressive statistics from the CRNRA staff. Check out the numbers!

Next year promises to be an even bigger one for our friends group and the park, as we complete projects to enhance your park experience – from a kids fishing deck and improved trails to a new river observation deck and a major re-development of the Paces Mill Unit. We can do even more with your help!

WAYS TO GIVE: Here are a few of the many ways that you can support the CRNRA. Please contact CPC Board President, Phillip Hodges, to learn more at

• General support or project-designated gift 
• Employer matching gift
• Donation from a retirement account
• G
ift of appreciated securities
Donation to celebrate or remember someone
• A leadership gift of $1000 or more

The Park Goes Cashless - at Recreation.Gov

How many times have you reached into your wallet to find that you don’t have the cash to pay the $5 parking fee required for every vehicle that parks within the CRNRA? (This assumes that you don’t have an annual pass for dashboard display.) The good news is that you can now pay the per visit parking fee and/or purchase an annual pass online at!

After mid-February, the “iron rangers” (see photo) that hold deposited fees will be removed; therefore, your fee must be paid online when you visit the park, unless you purchase an annual pass. Every year, the CRNRA collects about $1 million in fees, 55% of which is available for reinvestment in deferred maintenance projects, such as trail restoration, facility upgrades, the hiring of rangers and other projects that improve your experience in the park. Currently, the CRNRA has a deferred maintenance backlog of more than $15 million. The online system is also expected to increase enforcement efficiency and will give rangers more time to engage our visitors, support river trips and provide other activities for you and your family. Thanks to Superintendent Bill Cox and his team for going cashless!

Every Kid Outdoors: Sibley Pond Experience


Snakes, frogs, salamanders, snails and more! These are just a few of the critters that 436 underserved fourth graders from Cobb County Schools found at Sibley Pond, when they visited our national park in October. The students also got to paddle rafts with park rangers and volunteers; for many, it was their first time on the water in a boat. The wonderful images in this photo album illustrate outdoors learning in action.

The Every Kid Outdoors Program is offered by federal agencies, including the National Park Service. A grant to CPC from the National Park Foundation supported travel expenses to bring the students to the CRNRA. Nearly 1,000 other young folks spent time learning and having fun in the park this year at a spring water festival and summer YMCA camp – both of which were supported by CPC funds and volunteers.

Bill Cox Retires at Year End

For the past six years, Roswell native Bill Cox has served as the superintendent of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, meaning that he has been responsible for ensuring all aspects of the care and management of our national park: hiring rangers and coordinating their activities, developing park plans and programs, managing budgets and expansion projects, representing park interests in various forums and more.

Although Bill started his career as a park intern with the Student Conservation Association, he spent the majority of his work life at the U.S. EPA, where he served as a water quality manager. In fact, it was his expertise in water issues that brought Bill back to the National Park Service, and specifically the CRNRA, at the end of his career. The Chattahoochee River within the park and adjacent lands have long been subject to the impacts of the developing metro Atlanta region: water pollution, trash and heavily-used park trails. Bill is a strong believer in private and public partnerships, which he has cultivated, and says are key to the survival of the park.

While there is still much to be done to make the CRNRA a top-tier national park, Bill is proud of the progress made during his tenure, which includes greater recognition for the park as a unit of the national system and a stronger friends group with greater fundraising capacity. The park’s first strategic plan, developed under his leadership, calls for excellence throughout the park with major investments in three areas every five years, currently Paces Mill Unit, Vickery Creek Unit and the 48-mile National Water Trail.

With Bill’s leadership and CPC’s assistance, more than $500, 000 has been invested in assessment studies and planning to improve the 80-mile land trail system; implementation projects are already underway. More than 100 wayside signs have been installed in the fifteen park units with maps and natural and cultural resource information. He has also strengthened his team with needed expertise – all while managing daily operations. We’ll miss Bill, but are happy that he’ll now have time to reconnect with the great outdoors!

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. Volunteer calendar here.

Volunteer Trail Days. Contact NPS Volunteer Coordinator Ranger Dave Thomas at for details and to register.

• Gold Branch – Sat, Dec 7 (8:45-1pm)
• Cochran Shoals/Columns Drive – Sat, Dec 21 (8:45-1pm)

Gold Branch Hike - Sat, Dec 14 (1-3:30pm). Join Ranger Jerry Hightower for a winter hike through an oak-hickory forest on a loop trail. Reservations required at 678-538-1200. Limit 30.

Johnson Ferry North Hike - Sat, Jan 11 (1-3:30pm). Join Ranger Jerry Hightower for a winter hike on the Mulberry Creek Loop Trail. Reservations required at 678-538-1200. Limit 30.

FREE Day in the Park – Jan 20. The NPS invites all visitors to visit any unit in the national park system for free on Martin Luther King Jr 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. 

Become a CPC member or donate today!

YOU can help us achieve our vision of an inspired and thriving community of support for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

CPC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We are proud to support our Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, a unit of the national park system by the National Park Service.

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Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy
P.O. Box 769332, Roswell, GA 30076