A statewide blueprint for maintaining and sustaining public outdoor recreation resources to meet the demands of Georgia’s diverse and growing population. The plan, which is updated every five years, keeps Georgia eligible for federal support through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The 2022–2026 Georgia Outdoor Recreation Plan launched earlier this spring and will be completed by October 2021 when Governor Kemp submits it to the U.S. Department of Interior for their approval. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources oversees the development of the outdoor recreation plan through an extensive public engagement process.
- GA has received $102 million in LWCF grants and leveraged these matching funds to over $204 million in city, county and state park investments.
- 95% of GA’s cities and counties have improved their quality of life and economic vitality via LWCF projects.
- The current unmet demand for park and recreation improvements in GA exceeds $123 million.
- Inventory of existing public park and outdoor recreation supply (city, county, state & federal);
- Analysis of national and state trends in demographics, funding and recreational preferences;
- Survey of public perspectives regarding outdoor recreation via a statewide public opinion survey, stakeholder engagements and public input meetings;
- Establish priorities for action that will become the criteria for awarding future LWCF grants.
Critical to any recreation plan is an assessment of preferences and demands for public outdoor recreation services. Demand for outdoor recreation services will be assessed for this Plan in several ways including public meetings, surveys and written comments.
DNR hosted two online interactive webinars to engage the public in the planning process and assess the public's demand for outdoor recreation. The meetings included a short presentation, informal survey and opportunity for public comment.
All interested persons were given an opportunity to submit written comments to DNR. The public comment period closed August 31, 2020.
The Board of Natural Resources will be briefed on the draft "Georgia Plan for Outdoor Recreation 2022-2026" at the August 24, 2021 Board meeting. Following the briefing, the Plan will be made available for public comment via online, telephone and written comments. A virtual public hearing is scheduled for September 13, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. All public comment must be received by Friday, September 24, 2021. A final draft and public comment report will be presented to the Board for consideration at the September 28, 2021 Board meeting. Once approved, the Plan will be transmitted to Governor Kemp for certification. The certified document will then be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service for approval. Once approved by the National Park Service, the Plan will become Georgia's official recreation policy document guiding the provision of outdoor recreation and LWCF grant funding for the next five years.
Taylor Brown, Chief of Grants
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