Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites
Press Room
Public Hearing: Rule Change on Free Wednesdays
Georgia’s State Park System Considers Fee Change

ATLANTA, August 27, 2010 ~~ The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is requesting public comments on a proposed rule change that would eliminate “free Wednesdays” at all state parks. Under current rule, park visitors are exempt from paying the $5 parking fee on Wednesdays at sites such as Amicalola Falls, Indian Springs and Crooked River. Written comments will be accepted until October 22, and the change could go into effect February 2011.

The proposal is in response to the state’s budget crisis and the Georgia General Assembly's direction for the state park system to become more self sufficient and less reliant on state general funds. Each year, parking fees generate $3.8 million for state park and historic site maintenance, such as campground renovations and trail construction. The DNR estimates that the free Wednesday program represents a loss of $400,000 in revenue. The daily parking fee is $5, and annual passes are available for $50. Georgians still have the opportunity to visit state parks and historic sites for free through the Library Loan Program, which allows citizens to check out a free Park Pass and Historic Site Pass from public libraries.

The proposed rule revision and public comments will be considered by the Board of Natural Resources at its meeting on October 27 in Savannah. Written comments may be submitted by October 22 online at http://www.gastateparks.org/parks/contact.aspx?et=0&s=0.0.1.5 or by mail to Sherry Crew-Jay, Confidential Secretary, Parks and Historic Sites Division, Suite 1352 East, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. Spoken comments may be presented during a public meeting on September 2, from 9 a.m. until noon, in the DNR boardroom at Suite 1252 East, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

ParkPass Details:    http://gastateparks.org/ThingsToKnow#ParkPass

Library Loan Program:   http://gastateparks.org/ThingsToKnow#library

Friends Membership (includes annual pass):   http://friendsofgastateparks.org/membership.html

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