Georgia State Park & Historic Site Employees Receive Awards During Ranger Conference


Several Georgia State Park and Historic Site employees were honored yesterday during a Rangers Conference at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder. Assistant managers, interpretive rangers, maintenance rangers and golf superintendents participated in training activities, team building and sharing ideas. An awards ceremony celebrated the efforts of those who make more than 60 sites outstanding destinations for Georgia’s citizens and visitors. Learn more about these attractions operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources at


2024 Award Recipients

Bravery Award
Mike Teel, Florence Marina and Providence Canyon state parks, Omaha and Lumpkin
Assistant Manager Mike Teel helped rescue a campground host who had fallen into Lake Walter F. George on a cold January day. The volunteer had been standing partially on the dock when his boat pulled away, injuring his leg and causing him to fall. He could not get back on the dock and was in the water for approximately one hour when Teel and five others pulled him to safety.

Si Longmire Ranger-of-the-Year Award
Jason Webb, Richard B. Russell State Park in Elberton
Ranger Jason Webb has worked diligently to upgrade numerous facilities and solve challenges at this 2,508-acre park on Lake Richard B. Russell. Projects have included repairing a six-inch waterline in less than six hours, overseeing complex repairs to a collapsed 1,000-gallon septic tank, and supporting prescribed burn teams. He assisted other state parks with storm damage response, tree removal and bridge repair. His leadership and positive attitude inspire his team at Richard B. Russell, and he also shares his knowledge as a teacher at the Department of Natural Resources Career Academy.

Most Innovative Program on a Historic Site
Echoes on the Altamaha, Fort King George Historic Site in Darien
Fort King George was established in 1721 as the southern outpost of the British Empire in North America. Under a full moon in October 2023, program participants met with interpreters portraying the Spanish, English, Scottish and sawmilling periods of the historic site’s long history. Local volunteers were recruited to serve as guides and greeters, and many visitors over the following weeks mentioned that they came because they heard about the fantastic program.

Most Innovative Program on a Park
90th Anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy Dinner, F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain
This intimate dinner in the park’s event space celebrated the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. During the Great Depression, the “CCC Boys” built numerous park amenities across the country, including the park office, cottages, bridges and stone swimming pool at F.D. Roosevelt State Park. Historian John Croom presented a talk during this reflective event.

Most Outstanding Maintenance Project
Cable System Renovation, Fort Mountain State Park in Chatsworth
This mountain park’s cable system that provided television to campsites and cottages was unreliable and in poor condition. It was often down for extended periods and had been repaired so many times that troubleshooting was difficult. Rangers worked with a cable technician to dig trenches through rocky terrain and bury a redesigned cable system that park visitors can now enjoy.

Outstanding Housekeeping Award
Hard Labor Creek State Park in Social Circle
This park just east of Atlanta has 20 cottages and two assembly shelters that require frequent turnover for groups and individuals. Visitors often leave positive reviews regarding cleanliness and customer service. The park’s housekeeping team works very well together and brings a positive attitude toward routine tasks as well as occasional challenges.

Golf Superintendent of the Year
David Lee, Meadow Links at George T. Bagby State Park in Ft. Gaines
Lee has worked at Meadow Links Golf Course since 2000. A few years ago, the DNR re-acquired management of the course which had been privately operated for several years. Since then, Lee has overseen many improvement projects, including upkeep of the clubhouse, range ball barn, well pump house and restrooms. He added new turf and rocking chairs at the clubhouse, removed several trees, and brought back routine burning of the roughs for the first time in 13 years. Golfers are quick to compliment the improvements at this southwest Georgia retreat.