Will Fowler take over Chehaw? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Will Fowler take over Chehaw?

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October 2, 2004

Albany- Jim Fowler knows Albany hidden treasure.

"We've got some of the greatest nature right here of any city in America," says Wildlife Expert Jim Fowler.

But few are taking advantage of it. It's a Saturday afternoon, the weather's nice, and the parking lot is almost empty at the Parks at Chehaw.

Wildlife Expert Jim Fowler meet with members of the Chehaw Authority board to discuss his plans for attracting more visitors and getting the park to live up to its potential.

"You don't want to build a $30 million concrete zoo in Albany, Georgia for a lot of reasons. This should be a place that's fun to go to, part of people's lives, and reconnects families and friends with the world of nature," Fowler says.

For months, the authority has discussed whether Fowler should be allowed to take over the wildlife park, but now their time may be winding down. Fowler says he'll need a decision by November 1st to ensure enough time to come up with funding for the face-lift.

"Mr. Fowler has a world of experience and that's something that we would love to be able to have harnessed for Albany, but again we've got to look at past projects, we've got to be able to look at our responsibility of managing this beuatiful resource," says board vice-chair Ann Zimmer-Shephard.

According to many board members they're not too sure about what Fowler wants to do... something that's stopping them from giving him the go-ahead.

"For the first time we actually got some better communication with Mr. Fowler and a better understanding of what he's trying to do," adds Zimmer-Shephard.

Still, the board is at least a vote away from deciding if Fowler's park-packing ideas will ever come to fruition.

The board will meet with Fowler again Monday at 6 PM and are expected to vote on whether they want to proceed with Fowler's plan.

Posted at 5:50 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com