November 2016 Volunteer eNews

October hours, Recent Stewardship events, Partnerships

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November 2016

Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites
Home Depot

Stewardship Projects in October

October 27, 2016 - Sweetwater Creek had 32 volunteers from The Home Depot come out. We had Parks staff and AmeriCorps crew leaders working on projects including: trail map kiosk build, kayak lake clean-up, trail clean-up on yellow and red trails, and painting the bathrooms in the Visitor Center.

October 28, 2016 - We partnered with Georgia Conservancy and Shaw Industries for a project at Fort Mountain State Park. We had 22 people come out for that project and spread over 3 tons of gravel on the Lake Loop Trail helping with erosion control and making the trail more accessible.

October 29, 2016 - Partnering with the Georgia Conservancy we hosted a project at Skidaway Island State Park and Fort McAllister Historic Park to aid in the recovery from Hurricane Matthew. With approximately 30 volunteers working to rake up and clear campsites to make these parks ready to re-open soon. About 87 campsites were restored through these efforts!


Where in the world?

Many of you probably noticed that I was out for most of October. I experienced some new-to-me locations last month. So since I know some of you have been asking me "where in the world have you been?" I am sharing it here.

As part of the DNR Leadership Academy I was down on the Georgia Coast participating in the CoastFest held in Brunswick, GA. This huge festival is an annual event hosted by the DNR's Coastal Resources Division but many of our DNR sections are represented there. It reaches upwards to 10,000 individuals in the area with plenty of activities, education, and fun for the whole family. I highly recommend you check it out!

I was also selected to serve on jury duty for a criminal trial, and though I can say that I don't want to have that experience again anytime soon, I am glad that I was able to provide my time and civic duty. We live in a great country that enables us to have a voice. Use yours!

Lastly, every 2 years there is a conference for Volunteer Administrators from state parks across the country. This is a week-long conference where each state's representative collaborates on policies and new initiatives, networks, and we learn about how other states utilize volunteers. It is always a rewarding experience. This year New Hampshire State Parks hosted the conference and I traveled to the beautiful rolling hills, White Mountains, and deciduous trees of New Hampshire for a week.

To thank you for your patience while I was out, I am sharing some images from the New Hampshire trip. Our Georgia trees are just as pretty. Go see them they are at their peak now!




Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew hit our Georgia coast hard and we are still working to bring some of these parks back to open them up to the public.

Throughout the 2 nights and 3 days of the evacuation, Georgia State Parks hosted over 10,000 evacuees in Parks.


State Operations Center

The State Operations Center had every state agency represented and DNR staff from interns to Directors were managing the workflow and dispatching crews across the state to aid in the clean-up efforts.


It Took a Village

We are so grateful to be in our DNR family. We had LED Rangers, Wildlife Resources Division staff, Historic Preservation Division, and Parks staff out working long hours to get not only our site's roads open but those public roads across the south so evacuees could return home.

Upcoming Volunteer Projects and Events this November!

Volunteer Vacation with American Hiking Society and Parks

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2017 Volunteer Vacations selected!

March 5-11 at Black Rock Mountain State Park

March 12-18 at Sweetwater Creek State Park

November 5-11 at Kolomoki Mounds Historic Park

If you are interested in a great service project trip, these are very popular and promise to be rewarding and fun! Registration will go live in December.

Volunteer Uniforms and Supplies

Your input is helping us make decisions!

Thanks for those of you who participated in the poll

We are working on our contract for volunteer uniforms and supplies for the next 3-5 years. Thank you for your input on what you would like to wear while you are representing our Parks and Historic Sites. Your input will help us make our final decisions!

And no, you didn't ask for this look. :) >>>


Veterans Day


Friday, November 11th, 2016

All U.S. veterans, active duty, reserve military and National Guard may take advantage various discounts in Parks, Historic Sites, and Golf Courses. Guests must present a valid Military I.D. Cannot be combined with any other offers.

View Event

Volunteer Hours for October 2016


Logging Hours for Incentives


Congratulations for these volunteers who have recently hit 3000 logged hours!

  • Julius Merkison
  • Joyce and Madison Head
  • Velma and Robert Kirk
  • Charlie and Ginger Ketcham
  • Mel Leonard

Start earning your incentives! Use is the website for more information on Volunteer Hours and how incentives are earned.

You can see how many hours you have recorded or were transferred over from 2014 by logging into your time sheet.

Using this neat Stats feature, you can see where you are in the overall documentation of hours for volunteers all over the state:

Thank you for your patience as we transitioned to this tracking software in 2014. Your information is now accessible by you, park managers as well as myself. However, it is completely private and not accessible by anyone outside of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites.

Volunteers Defined:          We love and need them all!

    Community Volunteers-Help on a day-to-day basis at a Park as they are available. Our community volunteers help with leading hikes, helping with maintenance, assisting with the visitor or retail center, guide new visitors to park activities and locations. Those volunteering more than once per month or planning to volunteer more than 20 hours per year need to update registration.

    Hosts (Campground, Yurt, Maintenance, Golf, Train)-Stay in their personal RV at designated free Host Site for 2-6 months in exchange for a minimum of 24 hours of volunteer work.  Host duties include: visitor assistance and maintenance.  All hosts are required to update registration to still be considered for hosting.

    Group Volunteers-This is for Churches, Corporations, Scouts and Universities who want a tailor-made project that will strengthen the group as individuals as well as a team morale while assisting Georgia State Parks. Only the group leader will need to be registered in our system.

How are we doing?

In order for Georgia State Parks to continue to thrive and grow, even in these lean budget times, we need to get feedback from those that utilize our services and Parks. As Volunteers and Hosts, you have the same rights and anonymity in park observations and feedback as our Park Staff.  Please use this quick survey form to share your experiences with us.

Thanks for reading!  Please feel free to share with others. 

If you need to contact us: Volunteer Manager:  or Carly Nielsen the Assistant Volunteer Coordinator at

As always, thank you for being a steward for Georgia State Parks! Have a great day!

Helpful Links:

    eNews Archived -

    Log your Hours -

    See your recorded hours -

    Volunteer Hour Stats -