January 2020



The board of Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy (CPC) greatly appreciates your generous year-end contributions totaling more than $40,000!  Ninety percent of every donation goes directly to priority projects and programs that help our national park be the very best it can be. Your gifts provide essential support.

Ready for Kids Fishing Programs and Nature Lessons!

While most of us were attending holiday parties and shopping last month, Link Welding Service, a contractor hired by CPC, worked with our board and park staff to replace the four-decades old, and increasingly-unsafe, kids fishing pier at Island Ford Pond. Park visitors have already commented on the beauty of the new structure, which was funded by CPC donors (thank you!) and a matching grant secured by the National Park Service. Nearly a thousand young people and adults from diverse schools and camps use this pier every year to learn fishing skills and pond ecology.

As the contractor removed the old decking, it became clear, not surprisingly, that most of the existing structure was damaged and would have to be replaced. The big surprise, however, was the car that emerged from the pond, when it was drawn down to allow construction! A Pontiac last registered in 1999 with a few critters inside, nothing gruesome. Our hard-working park staff removed the vehicle. Special thanks to the following CPC board members who oversaw the entire project, making sure that it was completed on time and on budget: Sarah Boyer, Graham Dorian and Britt Storck.

Help Fund 2020 Projects. If you’d like to contribute to CPC’s priority projects in 2020, please write our board president, Phillip Hodges, at info@chattahoocheeparks.org. We plan to replace at least one river observation deck, improve hiking and biking trails, install strategically-located dog waste stations and more.

2020 Walk & Talk Series for Members

Trees, geology, birds, fly-fishing, history, paddling… oh my! CPC has a lot in store for this year’s Walk & Talk Series. Due to the popularity of these FREE outings in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, we decided to offer them only to our much-loved CPC members, as one way of showing our appreciation for their support. Capacity is limited. A few weeks prior to each event, we will open registration and send an email announcement. CPC members – be on the lookout for these emails and sign up early, as the spots fill quickly! You can also visit our events page anytime. If you aren’t a CPC member yet, please join here!

Registration is already full for Winter Trees in the Park on Sunday, January 26, with Kathryn Kolb from 2-4:30pm at the West Palisades/Akers Mill Unit, but you can sign up for the wait list. We’ll walk from ridge top to floodplain, focusing on tree bark and other identification clues. A fine art photographer of natural forms and landscapes, Kathryn is also the director of Eco-Addendum. The 2.5-mile walk has up-hill climbs. Ages 10 and up only. No dogs please. Limit: 15 people. Register for wait list here.

Preferred Alignment for RiverLands Greenway

After nearly a year of analysis and extensive community input, the Chattahoochee RiverLands Project Management Team recently presented its Preferred Alignment for the 100-mile path in the river corridor from Buford Dam to Chattahoochee Bend State Park. The team evaluated many alternative routes for the multi-modal path, while considering equity, ecology, health, safety and accessibility. In addition to reconciling critical segments, the team sought to fine-tune tributary trails, water access points, key destinations and potential locations for trail-oriented amenities.

As a member of the Chattahoochee Working Group, CPC helps represent the interests of the CRNRA, along with park staff. Our goals include enhancing the National Water Trail and linking park units, while ensuring that natural resources and unique experiences in the park are protected. To view the Preferred Alternative, see this link.

Trout Unlimited, Partners Embrace Crayfish Creek


Upper Chattahoochee Chapter of Trout Unlimited (UCCTU) was recently awarded an Embrace A Stream matching grant to restore Crayfish Creek, a tributary to the Chattahoochee River located in Gwinnett County within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA). The goal of the Chattahoochee River Wild Trout Improvement Project is to ensure that the river remains a productive coldwater fishery and a healthy source of drinking water. One of 29 similar projects funded by the national Trout Unlimited, UCCTU and its partners will work together to improve water quality and habitat in the degraded creek by restoring native streamside vegetation, stabilizing eroded streambanks and removing debris.

To date, $40,000 has been raised with additional grant proposals pending to support the initiative and provide for water quality monitoring and interpretive signage. The project team, which celebrated with an on-site cookout last fall, includes: UCCTU, Oconee River Chapter TU, UGA 5 Rivers Fishing Club, GA DNR, National Park Service, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy, UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, River Through Atlanta and the Georgia Council of TU. For more information and to volunteer for work days, see this link.

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 www.crnra.vip 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.

Park Walks with Ranger Jerry Hightower:

  • Mulberry Creek Loop Trail – Sat, Jan 11 (1-3:30pm). A leisurely walk along a wonderful trail in the Johnson Ferry North Unit. Reservations required at 678-538-1200.
  • Forest Loop Trail – Sat, Jan 25 (1-3:30pm). A moderate walk in the Island Ford Unit which includes the park’s visitor center. Reservations required at 678-538-1200.

Campfires and Night Hikes with Ranger Jerry Hightower:

  • Wolf Moon Campfire and Hike – Sat, Jan 11 (6-8pm) at the Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center (CREEC). Reservations required at 678-538-1200.
  • New Year New Moon Campfire and Hike – Sat, Jan 25 (6-8pm) at CREEC. Reservations required at 678-538-1200.

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

Winter Trees in the Park – Sun, Jan 26 (2-4:30pm). Wait List Only. Join naturalist Kathryn Kolb in the West Palisades/Akers Mill Unit to walk from ridge top to floodplain, focusing on tree bark and other identification clues. For details and registration, see above. Limit: 15.

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