Georgia to host conference of Southeastern State Park Directors


Georgia’s Division of State Parks and Historic Sites is preparing to host a dozen state park directors from across the Southeast. The annual conference of the Association of Southeastern State Park Directors will be held October 24 to 28 at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris.


Directors and senior leaders will share ideas on how to best protect natural and cultural resources while welcoming growing numbers of visitors. Featured speakers include Dr. Fran Mainella, the first woman to lead the National Park Service; Aimee Copeland, executive director of the Aimee Copeland Foundation who highlights courage and perseverance; and Donald Forgione, retired director of the Florida Park Service and ecotourism advocate.

“I am thrilled to welcome such an accomplished group of men and women who all share the common goal of protecting state parks and historic sites,” said Georgia State Parks Director Jeff Cown. “It’s an honor to be the host state this year, especially after not being able to gather together last year. I look forward to showcasing some of Georgia’s most beautiful parks.”

The group will share ideas on managing post-pandemic visitation growth, recruiting and retaining top-notch rangers, succession planning for leaders, growing diversity and additional topics. They will also visit area attractions such as Black Rock Mountain, Vogel, Tallulah Gorge and Moccasin Creek state parks, as well as Brasstown Bald Recreation Area.

Georgia’s state parks and historic sites are operated by the Department of Natural Resources. To learn more, visit