State parks and historic sites may see improvements - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State parks and historic sites may see improvements

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October 19, 2006

Adel -- A state park is just a short trip away. Forty-five parks are scattered throughout Georgia, and the Department of Natural Resources wants to improve outdoor recreation at the facilities. Leaders came to south Georgia to get your input on how to do that.

There are seven meetings scheduled statewide over the next two months to give Georgians a time to speak their minds on outdoor recreation.

Information gathered will help state officials decide what improvements can be made, even though some visitors say state parks in Georgia are already on target.

A peaceful scene like this one at Reed Bingham State Park is what brings out-of-staters into Georgia for recreation. Floridan Charles Miller says he takes the trip to Adel to go camping with family members, at least once a month.

"Fantastic I would say. I think the park, there's probably a few things they could do, but out of all the parks we've been to, this is the nicest," said Charles Miller.

Nice enough even for the most prestigious bird in the country to call home. Reed Bingham State Park surrounds a 375-acre lake, and it gives families like the Millers a top camping, and outdoor activity destination.

The DNR wants to enhance the state park system, and ensure future outdoor recreational amenities in the state. That's why DNR Director Becky Kelly is getting public input on the needs and priorities of each region statewide.

"We're challenged because our state is growing so much. We're a very popular state for residents as well as visitors, so we really want to have a better understanding of what we have in our state," said DNR Director Becky Kelly.

After that input is collected, it will go into a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.

It will also give state officials an idea of what's right or wrong at Georgia Parks and historic sites.

"When you retire you live to come to a place that's a God created place that you can come to," said Miller.

Miller finds that place at Bingham Reed, and he may be met with a better park in the future. DNR hopes input from Georgians will help the state's outdoor recreation industry to soar.

The state updates its outdoor recreation policy every five years. Input from the public now may help Georgia be eligible for federal land or water conservation money in the future.

If you have suggestions for park improvements, visit www.gastateparks.org/scorp.

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