ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced the selection of the 2021-2022 Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program “Conserve Georgia” grants for conservation and outdoor recreation projects. Selected applicants will be invited to the second tier application, marking the final level of the application process for their proposals. This round will commit $28.1 million in funding to support local parks and trail systems and state-owned lands. These grantees also committed approximately $20.5 million to match the grant dollars.
“During a time of need, Georgia has provided our citizens and friends from neighboring states with a safe place to recreate, enjoy nature, and experience the rich outdoor opportunities our state has to offer,” said the Commissioner of DNR, Mark Williams. will further enhance these opportunities and continue to strengthen Georgia’s conservation efforts. »
The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program is Georgia’s premier source of dedicated funding for conservation of priority lands, management of state parks and wildlife management areas, and support of local parks and trails. The 2021-2022 competitive grant cycle produced 44 submissions requesting total funding of $65 million. Eligible applicants included local governments, recreation authorities, state agencies and some nonprofit organizations.
The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund Board of Directors reviewed all projects and selected a list of proposals, which was then approved by the Natural Resources Council and state House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittees and the State Senate on the DNR.
Of the 15 projects selected, eight are aimed at local governments or non-profit organizations for the acquisition, development or management of local parks or trail networks. Two proposals relate to the acquisition of protected lands by the MNR and five relate to stewardship projects on federal lands. The full list of Conserve Georgia grants is below. For more information about the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program and these grants, visit www.gadnr.org/gosp.
Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program Selections 2021-2022:
Bryan County – Fishermen’s Cooperative, $3 million
Bryan County plans to create outdoor recreation opportunities on a property known as Fisherman’s Co-Op. This project includes the construction of boat ramps, a kayak launch, floating docks, picnic areas, pavilions, walking and cycling trails and a wildlife viewing platform.
Cherokee County – Long Swamp Creek Recreation Area, $600,000
Cherokee County will develop the Long Swamp Creek Recreation Area, located at the confluence of Long Swamp Creek and the Etowah River. This project will include passive outdoor recreation opportunities including a canoe and kayak boat launch, fishing, camping, walking trail, outdoor archery range and wildlife viewing .
Town of LaGrange — Ridley Lake Project, $3 million
The Town of LaGrange is developing a 45-acre inclusive/accessible facility known as the Ridley Lake Project. This project will include approximately 1.3 miles of multi-use trails, boardwalks and bridges to wetlands, kayak/canoe launch including ADA, fishing docks, wildlife viewing areas , pavilions, an amphitheater, accessible playgrounds and a trailhead.
City of Sandy Springs — Trail Segment 2A, $3 million
The City of Sandy Springs plans to acquire easements and construct approximately 2 miles of multi-use trails and boardwalks. This project is a segment of a larger trail network that will connect existing recreational areas and provide opportunities for walking and biking, as well as fishing and wildlife viewing.
Town of Tucker — Johns Homestead Dam and Park Improvements, $2,521,800
The Town of Tucker will improve Johns Homestead Park with the construction of new access points, boardwalks, an ADA-accessible fishing pier, a permanent orientation course, educational kiosks and a bird watching awning. The banks and buffer zones of the watercourses will be restored by the planting of native plants and the vegetative restoration of the banks. The proposed project will also rehabilitate two existing dams to make the park safer for users, improve stormwater attenuation, and reduce sediment runoff downstream.
Groundwork Atlanta – Woodall Creek Conservation Corridor, $1,495,000
Groundwork Atlanta, in conjunction with several entities, will develop approximately 3 miles of trails connecting two existing trail systems. This project will improve water quality by pre-treating runoff before it enters Woodall Creek and replanting riparian buffers with native trees and plants.
Henry County – Butlers Bridge Park and Creek Restoration, $1,498,459
Henry County plans to design and build a passive recreational park featuring approximately 2.4 miles of trails and boardwalks, a kayak launch and wildlife viewing platforms. This project will provide access to the South River and establish one of the main entry and exit points for the South River Water Trail. The proposed project will also perform Priority 1 stream restoration that will restore lost connectivity to the floodplain. Restoring this stream will reduce erosion and sedimentation and improve water quality in the South River.
Jones County – Jake’s Woods Multi-Purpose Park, $500,000
Jones County plans to acquire approximately 30 acres of land and develop Jake’s Woods Park. This project will preserve granite outcrops and showcase African-American history and culture through the installation of interpretive panels. Three miles of trails and climbing and bouldering opportunities will be developed.
MNR, Coastal Resources Division — Williamson Park Public Access Facility (Champney), $1,141,692
Georgia’s Ministry of Natural Resources plans to build a new boat launch and rehabilitate an existing one to allow more ships to be launched. New canoe/kayak launch platforms and a fishing pier will be added. Marsh and wetland buffer zones will be expanded and planted with native trees and vegetation. Biological swales, rain gardens and other green infrastructure will be incorporated to provide on-site stormwater management.
DRN, Division of Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites — Acquisition of Coleman Tract, Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park, $1,757,500
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources plans to acquire approximately 882 acres of property known as the Coleman Tract bordering the northeast corner of Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park. Obtaining this property will expand the park’s buffer zone, allow for the restoration of montane longleaf pine forest, and create opportunities for additional hiking and biking trails, backcountry camping, and game viewing. wildlife.
DRN, Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division — Trail Improvements – Sweetwater Creek State Park, $2,260,751
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources will address significant safety issues on Sweetwater Creek State Park’s Red Trail by improving accessibility with ADA-compliant features, removing eroded structures, rerouting sections hazardous areas and replacing them with sidewalks and stairs with flood-resistant materials. These improvements would make the trail safer and more accessible. This project will improve visual access to the historic mill ruins and Sweetwater Creek for people with disabilities.
DNR, Division of Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites — Visitor Center Reconstruction, Vogel State Park, $4,274,579
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources will build a new visitor center at Vogel State Park, one of the oldest and most popular parks in Georgia’s state park system. This project will support the high level of visitation and the variety of natural resource-based recreational activities that the park offers. The existing visitor center, originally built in the 1930s, will be renovated into a Civilian Conservation Corps museum to expand opportunities for interpretive programs.
MNR, Wildlife Resources Division — Langdale Tract, Chattahoochee Fall Line WMA, $562,264
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources will acquire and retain approximately 1,348 acres in Marion County as an addition to the Chattahoochee Fall Line Wildlife Management Area. This land acquisition project will ensure the permanent protection of several high priority habitats and species and provide access to hunting and other nature-based recreational activities for the public.
MNR, Wildlife Resources Division — Habitat Restoration on Crown Lands, $978,274
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources plans to conduct large-scale habitat restoration practices on several state-owned properties, including reforestation, prescribed burning, and selective herbicide treatments. The project will focus on open pine habitats, including swamp pine forests and savannas. These habitats are essential to maintaining healthy populations of many high-priority and endangered wildlife species.
MNR, Wildlife Resources Division — Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center Discovery Area, $1,500,000
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources plans to develop phase three of the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. This project involves the construction of a discovery area and pavilion that will provide educational opportunities and nature-based recreational activities for guests. A new animal holding facility will provide safe housing and care for animals used in various educational programs.
The mission of the Department of Natural Resources is to support, enhance, protect and conserve the natural, historical and cultural resources of Georgia for present and future generations, while recognizing the importance of promoting the development of trade and industry that use sound environmental practices.