June 2022

East Palisades & Bowmans Island Bridge Project 

Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy (CNPC) is currently raising funds to repair and replace three bridges in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA). Two of the bridges are located in the East Palisades unit and one is located in the Bowmans Island unit.

Your donation will help to keep the East Palisades and Bowmans Island trail systems accessible and safe for roughly 1,700 visitors per day.

Cost:  $90,000 

Work will begin in July 2022. 

To learn more about the Bridge Project click here.


Hewlett Lodge at Island Ford

In addition to having great trails, ancient rock outcroppings and the soon-to-be pollinator garden, the Island Ford unit is also home to the headquarters for the CRNRA, a unit of the National Park Service. 

The park’s headquarters and visitor center was originally built by Atlanta attorney Samuel D. Hewlett as a retreat home for his family. Building commenced in the mid-1930’s and continued to 1941. Mr. Hewlett used cypress logs from property he owned in the Okefenokee Swamp and local stone. 

Mr. Hewlett sold the property to Buckhead Century Club in 1950. Then in 1955 the property was acquired by the Atlanta Baptist Assembly who used the property for almost two decades as a retreat and camp facility. In 1978, the National Park Service took over the property and rehabilitation of the lodge took place in the early 1980’s. Hewlett Lodge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016, recognized within the state as an example of a rare rustic style building.  

The Island Ford unit and Hewlett Lodge are accessible from Roberts Drive on the west side of 400.

Photo of Hewlett Lodge 

People of the Park: Dottie Vauls

This month we had the opportunity to talk with Dottie Vauls, a Law Enforcement Ranger for CRNRA. This is an important role that protects the park we love and helps ensure all visitors have a good time.

Do you have a favorite CRNRA park?

Reluctantly I would pick East Palisades. I say this because it is a popular park, and I want to keep it a secret. It is a very pretty place during all seasons, and a wonderful place to hike.

Working for the National Park Service you’ve probably seen a lot of parks. But is there a National Park on your bucket list to visit?

My absolute favorite thing about the National Parks is no matter what you’re into, there is a park for you; #FindYourPark. This variety feeds the curiosity of my Gemini soul. When I have a new hobby or interest, I know there’s a park for it. So, my bucket list includes all the parks.

How did you first get involved with the NPS and the CRNRA? 

Actually, the NPS found me. After graduating from Albright College with a BA in Environmental Policy & Anthropology, I joined AmeriCorp and volunteered with the Maryland Conservation Corps. The Lake Mead NRA got a copy of my resume and offered me a position. I was initially part of the Arid Land Restoration Crew, then was a BioTech in the Resource Management Division. 

While stationed at Lake Mead NRA, I got a second degree in Criminal Justice and attended the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program. Since graduation I’ve worked at several locations in the US before accepting a position at CRNRA. 

Where did you grow up and have you always liked the outdoors? 

I’m from Severna Park, MD (between Baltimore and Annapolis) but I wasn’t really involved in the outdoors growing up. After college, my AmeriCorp assignment and other related activities increased my love of the outdoors. 

Finally, do you have a favorite book or movie to recommend?

Although not a traditional nature book, one of my absolute favorites is “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” by Kent Nerburn. For the most part, it is the conversation, interaction, and relationship between a white man and a Native American elder. I read this book in college. It changed my view of the world around me, my relationship with nature and the environment.

Photo of Dottie Vauls

The NPS App - The perfect companion for exploring 

Let a park ranger be your guide! The National Park Service App is the new official app to explore 420+ National Parks including the CRNRA. Find interactive maps, tours of park places, on-the-ground accessibility information, and more. The app was created by NPS staff—people who know national parks—to help you make the most of your visit. 

The app is constantly being updated, so if you don’t find what you’re looking for now, check back regularly. The free app is currently available for iOS and Android devices and can be found wherever apps are downloaded. 

A Lucky Winner from the CNPC Community will receive a $150 REI Gift Card!

Click the below link for your chance to win a $150 REI gift card to put toward new gear and good times outside! Must enter before June 13. 



REI Co-op is a longtime supporter of CNPC and the Park including sponsoring our sold-out Picnic in the Park on June 12. We appreciate everything REI Co-op does to help us help the CRNRA. We are lucky to have friends like REI Co-op! 

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities: 

Trail Day at Columns Drive 

June 18, 8:45 AM - 1 PM

We will continue our work on the multi-use trail system within the Cochran Shoals unit. Work may include clearing of drains to remove water from the trail system and rock armoring to reinforce areas of the trail that are low and are becoming slick with mud.


Trail Day -  location TBD

July 2, 8:45 AM - 1 PM

We will be hosting our regular first Saturday trail day at one of the CRNRA park units. 


Island Ford Pollinator Garden 

July 11, 9 AM - 12 PM

The CRNRA and CNPC have partnered with Georgia Audubon to restore the area in front of the Island Ford Visitor Center into a pollinator garden. Work will be supervised by Georgia Audubon but we need your help.


Trail Day at Columns Drive 

July  16, 8:45 AM - 1 PM

We will continue our work on the multi-use trail system within the Cochran Shoals unit. Work may include clearing of drains to remove water from the trail system and rock armoring to reinforce areas of the trail that are low and are becoming slick with mud.


Photo of a volunteer working in the Pollinator Garden at Island Ford

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Become a CNPC 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.

CNPC 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 managed by the National Park Service.

Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy
P.O. Box 769332, Roswell, GA 30076
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