May 2020

Ann Honious Joins Park Team as Acting Superintendent

We are pleased to announce that Ann Honious recently joined the team at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) as the park’s acting superintendent, assuming park management responsibilities following the retirement of Bill Cox in January. A 28-year veteran with the National Park Service, she will serve in this acting position until late summer, when the job opening for the permanent superintendent position is expected to be announced. Ann is on the 120-day detail from her current job as deputy superintendent for National Capital Parks-East: multiple park sites, parkways and statuary covering more than 8,000 acres of parklands in the Washington, D.C. area.  

A westerner by birth (Oregon) and education (Colorado), Ann says that she is already enjoying her assignment to the Deep South. With her extensive experience in park planning and design, cultural and historic resource preservation, and partnership programs, the CRNRA is very fortunate to have Ann’s leadership, especially as the park begins its phased reopening in the coming months. We look forward to working with her to get our park back in business and embark on new projects!

Fixing the Park! Jones Bridge Deck to be Replaced

Last year, Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy (CPC) secured a $50,000 grant through the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta for a priority park project: to replace a deteriorating river observation deck at the Jones Bridge Unit, which is increasingly unsafe for park visitors. The existing deck, which offers spectacular views of the Chattahoochee and Jones Bridge Shoals, is at least four decades old. While the coronavirus pandemic has slowed our implementation of this project, we expect to complete the environmental compliance and secure necessary permits for construction after the park reopens; our goal is to finish the project this fall. 

As the only nonprofit, philanthropic organization focused exclusively on helping the CRNRA be the best national park it can be, CPC needs your support. Working with National Park Service staff, we have developed a priority list of projects that will make your visit to the CRNRA a safer and more enjoyable experience – from improved trails to facility upgrades. Without financial help from everyone who loves and uses our park, it will be difficult for us to realize our goals. During this pandemic, we’ve learned how valuable – really essential – it is to be able to walk, run, bike, paddle and simply connect with nature in the CRNRA. It’s easy to give back, especially when more than 90% of every dollar you give goes directly to support the park. Support our park hereThank you! 

WildBoyz Photography Features the Park

During the month of May, CPC will be featured on the website of WildBoyz Photography, a nonprofit dedicated to sharing nature with others and promoting education of nature through photography. Ben and Matt, the WildBoyz, say that they selected our organization because of our affiliation with CRNRA, a park they know well and love. The WildBoyz website will include a description of CPC, along with photographs of our activities. Starting May 15, their gallery will feature photographs of the national park. Seventy-five percent of all donations made to WildBoyz Photography this month will go to CPC to support CRNRA projects and programs. At this link, you can read about CPC and enjoy the photography galleries. If these images inspire you, as we think they will, please consider donating in support of CPC and WildBoyz Photography. Thank you!

NOC to Open New Outposts

Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC), the nation’s largest outdoor recreation company, has been awarded a contract by the city of Roswell to bring its community-based outdoor activities, rentals and education programs to a section of the Chattahoochee River located upstream from the company’s current base of operations at Powers Island and Johnson Ferry. Operating out of Roswell’s Azalea Park and Don White Memorial Park, NOC will offer paddle boats and boards and provide shuttles – once the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area reopens its land units and the river. George Virgo, NOC’s general manager for Chattahoochee operations, says that he is “super excited to be expanding the company’s footprint in Atlanta, which offers a huge market for outdoor recreation.”

Recognized by National Geographic Adventure as “one of the best outfitters on Earth,” NOC was awarded a ten-year concessionaire contract by the National Park Service in 2015 to provide services within the national recreation area. Per the agreement, ten percent of NOC’s annual gross revenue must be passed on to the CRNRA to support park projects and operations; last year, a banner season for on-the-water recreation, yielded $26,000 for the park. A great partner to CPC as well, NOC gives discounts on boat rentals during the week to our members! Details provided when you join and/or renew. It’s easy to join here.

Chattahoochee RiverLands Completes Study

For the past eighteen months, CPC has helped develop the vision for Chattahoochee RiverLands, a 125-mile uninterrupted multimodal trail running from Buford Dam to Chattahoochee Bend State Park proposed by Trust for Public Land, Atlanta Regional Commission and other project management partners. The CRNRA makes up nearly half of the river corridor evaluated and offers a major destination for trail users with its 80-plus miles of footpaths and scenic beauty.

The RiverLands vision is a linear network of greenways, parks, a blueway and destinations that will bring people to the Chattahoochee and promote stewardship and conservation. Project partners describe the multimodal trail as a greenway that will follow the river, connecting 19 cities across seven counties and providing accessibility to more than one million metro Atlanta residents. The 104-mile blueway is envisioned to ultimately have more than 40 water access points. Tributary trails will connect neighborhoods and cities to the river. Kudos to CPC board member Cathy Barnard for representing us during this planning process.

Finding Solace in Nature

A year ago, CPC’s immediate past board president, Sally Bethea, began to regularly walk the Cabin Creek trail in East Palisades through the woods to the Chattahoochee River: an experience that she writes has never failed to provide her with peace, inspiration and new discoveries through the seasons. In her “Above the Waterline” column for Intown Atlanta, Sally offers several passages from her journal, her thoughts about the role of nature during this period of sheltering and waiting, and a favorite poem by Mary Oliver. While she missed seeing spring emerge on the trail, due to the closing of the CRNRA in March, Sally says that she is comforted by the certainty that spring will come again to Cabin Creek and that she’ll be able to return to the ravine of the talking creek and the constantly flowing river. We think you’ll enjoy her column and hope it inspires you to start your own journal!

Things To Do

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. Sign up now and get ready to help us reopen the park in the coming months. 

Your Shopping Can Help Our Park!
Are you ordering more online to stock up on stay-at-home supplies? Help CPC through Amazon Smile, by registering at this link; a percentage of your eligible purchases will be donated to our organization to help our national park. Amazon Smile offers the very same items as Amazon. Kroger Community Rewards also provides a percentage of your grocery purchase to a charity; it’s easy – sign up hereThank you!

10th Sweep the Hooch Cleanup – Saturday, August 29 (9am-Noon). Registration will open in June. We hope to see you at the CPC cleanup site at Whitewater, East Palisades Unit.

Walk & Talk Series: Founders Day in the Park, Sunday, Aug 23. Members Only. We will celebrate the 104th birthday of the NPS with a special outing led by Interpretive Ranger Sean Walsh-Haehle. Moderate 2.5-mile hike. Ages 10 and up. Registration for members opens mid-summer. Limit: 20.

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
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