Let's all chip in on park talk
The state of Georgia continues to cut the budget for the the park division.
In Fiscal Year 2010, for example, funding went down by 39 percent. Go back one more year, and our state parks are now operating on about half the financial support from four years ago.
State parks belong to the people. It is imperative we maintain these areas for future generations. So despite the funding cuts, it’s promising to see park staff and interested residents working on ways to rely less on the state yet keep our parks open. Such a meeting was held recently on the local Chattahoochee Bend State Park out at the Coweta County Fairgrounds.
Those who met are looking at ways to depend less and less on the state, and to develop innovative, money-making endeavors to recover those state losses. It’s an admirable plan and one we fully support. Among the ideas discussed were constructing yurts, miniature golf, volleyball courts and horseshoe pits.
All of these are excellent ideas. We also promote using the park to develop mountain bike and horse trails. There’s plenty of room and the park provides a safe environment for those activities. Mountain biking on park trails is better than trying it on our highways.
We are fortunate to have a strong volunteer group supporting our local park. The Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park has spent countless volunteer hours cleaning up the river and developing new trails.
Our only word of caution would be to ensure our park stays as natural as possible. We are not interested in turning it into another Stone Mountain. So let’s just drop any idea of go-kart tracks or motorcross courses. Chattahoochee Bend should be a place where the only noises one hears are birds chirping, children laughing and the occasional shout-out for a winning volleyball spike.
The only way our parks will survive will be because of volunteers devoting countless hours and supporters coming up with money-making activities. We encourage you to join the conversation and provide your insights and volunteer your time.
It’s your park. Let’s make it the best in the state.