May 2023

What is a Friends Group?

Private sector support for America’s national parks is a tradition as old as the parks themselves. Even before the establishment of the National Park Service (NPS) in 1916, Americans were stepping forward to protect special places that exemplify the United States of America’s heritage. Friends groups work with the National Park Service on projects within and beyond park boundaries. Here in Atlanta, CNPC works with the park staff of the CRNRA on park improvements, education programs, volunteer activities and more. As the official fund-raising organization for the CRNRA, CNPC raises money through donations, memberships, and special events. These monies support enhancements to your park.

Last year, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the CNPC. Private support for the Chattahoochee River has been going on much longer and is the reason we have the CRNRA. Let’s keep the support going. Your River. Your Park.


Article by Mark Sauer

Photo of CRNRA Superintendent Ann Honious and former CNPC Board Chair Philip Hodges at the ribbon cutting for the Cochran Shoal Overlooks

Pollinator Garden Update

Over the last 12 months, volunteers have been busy making changes to the landscape adjacent to the entrance of the historic Hewlett Lodge at Island Ford. Under the direction of Allyson Read, CRNRA Natural Resource Specialist and the guidance of Georgia Audubon, CNPC volunteers have restored a small native forest / woodland opening for the benefit of birds and pollinators. Invasive species have been removed from the area and 555 locally native plants ranging from Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) to Symphotrichum georgianum (Georgia aster) have been planted. The pollinator garden meets all of the requirements for a Georgia Audubon certified wildlife sanctuary and will serve as an environmental education site.

We hope you visit this site frequently to see what is in bloom. Please go to to support this new initiative either through a donation or to volunteer to maintain this welcoming space. 

Article by Raymond Steed
Photo by Samir Kamat

 Welcome Pollinators into Your Home Garden with Native Plants

Looking for inspiration for your own pollinator garden? Click here for a list of plants in the pollinator garden at Island Ford.

Choosing native species for your home gardening helps prevent the spread of invasive species, supports pollinators, and provides crucial habitat for wildlife. Native species also may require less tending, since they evolved to thrive in this climate. 

Photo of Violet Wood Sorrel by Tom Wilson 

We are up for the Challenge! Help Us Raise the Funds Needed to Build a Bridge at Bowmans Island

The Conservancy is working to raise $95,000 to build a replacement bridge in Bowmans Island before construction begins in August. A generous donor understands the importance of the new bridge and has created a Challenge Grant to help fund it; by July 31 we need to raise $70,000 and the donor will provide the additional $25,000 needed to fully fund the bridge. Please help us meet the challenge and make a donation today! 

Learn More

Water Safety - #DripDon'tDrown

Since 2012, there have been over 15 drowning-related fatalities at Diving Rock in the Palisades unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, with the majority of the victims being young African American males who were not wearing personal flotation devices (PFD's). In response, the park has collaborated with WABE and the YMCA of Metro Atlanta to develop a public awareness campaign, Drip Don't Drown, that emphasizes wearing PFDs. Click here to view the public awareness video. 

CNPC board member John Crandall fondly remembers summers spent at East Palisades, while reminding visitors to recreate responsibly. “I literally grew up there,” John recalls. “We would kick off the summer about the end of April, when the water was still super cold, and walk down from the parking lot with bare feet.  Swimming to get to the rocks is a risky endeavor, so always use a life jacket. The current just under the surface can be strong and can wear people out quickly, and over the years the spot has been notorious for being the number one place along the river where people drown. It’s deep and fast. Now, the park has life jackets right there on the shore that anyone can use, and we highly recommend you just grab one and wear it if you want to swim across.

CNPC is proud to announce that we are sponsoring the life jacket loaner station at West Palisades. Your support allows us to back projects like this one, which help CRNRA visitors to safely enjoy the river! Click here to learn more about recreating safely on the Chattahoochee River.

TSCG Wins for the Park!

The Shopping Center Group (TSCG) has been a generous CNPC ally, both in volunteer time and funding. A recent $13,000 donation to CNPC came as a result of an inter-office competition to allocate charitable funds based on each office’s staff volunteer hours.

CNPC board member, Michele Reale, is a partner with TSCG’s Atlanta office, which serves as headquarters for the commercial real estate company.  She explains that TSCG holds an annual golf tournament to raise money for charity. This year CNPC was one of the charity recipients based on the Atlanta office's volunteer hour competition win that included hours spent picking up trash in the CRNRA. 

We appreciate TSCG's volunteer time and financial support allowing us to help our beautiful local national park! 

Upcoming Events! 

Community Volunteer Day

May 6

1 - 4 PM


Community Hike

May 20
8 AM-11 AM


Amphibians and Reptiles in the Park

May 27
10 AM-12 PM


THANK YOU to Our 2023 Party for the Park Silent Auction Sponsors!

Become a 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.

Follow us on social! - #ChattahoocheeParks

Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy  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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