Okefenokee park announces visitor center change - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Okefenokee park announces visitor center change

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Folkston, GA (WALB) -

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge announces changes in operation for the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center, starting today, February 1, 2014.

The refuge has identified six months during the year where the Visitor Center will be open five days a week, December – February and June – August.  During these time frames, the Visitor Center will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday, closed on Sunday and Monday. 

In addition, the refuge has identified seasons of operation where the Visitor Center will remain open daily. Beginning March 1 to May 31, and again during the months of September-November, the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center will remain open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

These changes are being made after an analysis of recent visitation data was conducted, as well a look at the current and anticipated future staffing levels.  Due to recent budget considerations, the refuge visitor services program is being managed by a staff that has been diminished in half of what is was just 10 years ago. 

The refuge, Swamp Island Drive, hiking trails, Chesser Island Boardwalk, and Okefenokee Adventures will continue to be open daily, with hours that vary seasonally. For the most up-to-date hours of operation, please contact the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center at (912)-496-7836, or visit the refuge website www.fws.gov/okefenokee

or www.facebook.com/OkefenokeWildlifeRefuge. 

The Suwannee Canal Recreation Area (East Entrance) to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is the primary entrance managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is located 11 miles southwest of Folkston, GA off Hwy 121/23. 

The refuge is open daily and offers a variety of opportunities for the visiting public.  Call 912-496-7836 or visit the refuge website at www.fws.gov/okefenokee for hours of operation, upcoming events, and entrance fee information.