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July 16, 2010 Becky Kelley, Director We're Horse Friendly in Georgia.

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Presentation on theme: "July 16, 2010 Becky Kelley, Director We're Horse Friendly in Georgia."— Presentation transcript:

1 July 16, 2010 Becky Kelley, Director We're Horse Friendly in Georgia

2 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division SE Equestrian Conference Asked to speak about: Georgia DNR/Parks & Historic Sites Division's equestrian opportunities Georgia's Outdoor Recreation Plan and it's connection to equestrian opportunities Impacts of the Recreation Trails Program Working together to reposition for a brighter future

3 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division GA State Parks & Historic Sites 45 state parks 3 state historic parks 15 state historic sites 84,000 acres 9 golf courses 372 cottages 52 group shelters 41 campgrounds/2,400+ sites 14 group camps/lodges 7 lodges/conference centers 523 miles of hiking, biking, nature, canoeing/kayaking & equestrian trails

4 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division GA DNR Equestrian Trails & Facilities Six State Parks 114 miles of trails One state-owned stable Two vendor-owned stables 78 stalls 34 equestrian campsites One equestrian bunkhouse One riding ring Nine Wildlife Management Areas offer Trails (open roads & designated multi-use trails)

5 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division GSP Equestrian Services HARD LABOR CREEK STATE PARK Trails of various lengths up to 22 miles. Area includes paved parking, campsites with water and electricity, a bathroom with hot showers, and a large riding ring GENERAL COFFEE STATE PARK 13.4 miles of horse trails and 10 equestrian campsites added in 2009 Ride-in sites are primitive Drive-in sites offer nearby water spigots, pit toilets, grills, fire rings and picnic tables A.H. STEPHENS STATE HISTORIC PARK Primitive camping and 12 miles of unique riding trails

6 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division GSP Equestrian Services FORT MOUNTAIN STATE PARK Stables and horse rentals are available at this park. More than 25 miles of horse trails offer loop rides varying from 3 to 16 miles WATSON MILL BRIDGE STATE PARK 14 miles of trails with an equestrian camping area At the head of the horse trail system, there is a camping area for equestrians F.D. ROOSEVELT STATE PARK Stables and horse rentals are available adjacent to this park for access to its 28 miles of trails

7 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division GSP Equestrian Work Day volunteers donated 683 workhours at five state parks Equestrian Clubs Statewide provided lunch for volunteers and worked with Parks Friends organizations and Park Staff to coordinate the event. Groups volunteered from as far away as 100miles Erosion and trail bed improvements were made at all trails 100 ft of boardwalk was replaced at General Coffee Fort Mountain had two new outhouses, build new bunks, installed benches and did painting at the Horse Camp A.H Stephens had two campsites constructed and two more began

8 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division GSP Budget Reductions <$14 million 40%+ drop+-$26 million

9 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division FY 2010 Greater Sustainability Actions Major expenditure reductions system-wide Amended operations, service delivery approaches & staff levels Transitioning select sites to local operation Developing supportive partnerships with local communities & interest groups Seeking public & public-private partnerships Creating a new business model for the future

10 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Ga DNR Budget Priorities 1.Maintain law enforcement and public safety 2.Protect public health and environment 3.Keep facilities open and fully consider economic impact to local communities 4.Fully leverage federal funds and self- generated revenues 5.Enhance system when funds or partnerships allow

11 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Importance of Parks/Historic Sites Protect natural & cultural resources of statewide significance, connect people to nature & heritage, & provide outdoor recreation opportunities Attract tourists, business, industry & new residents Create jobs Enhance property values Reduce health & public infrastructure costs Generate local spending & economic development

12 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Our Economic Importance Economic Tiers 2010 Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 For every $1 of state funds invested in 2009, $33 was generated in local economic impact Tier 1 counties (our most economically challenged) host 43% of our state parks & historic sites Tier 2 counties host 25%

13 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Georgia Outdoor Recreation Plan Georgia SCORP Winner of the 2009 Inaugural National Award of Planning Excellence Awarded by National Park Service, National Association of Recreation Resource Planners

14 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division SCORP - Cause for Concern Rapid urbanization & loss of greenspace Significant demographic transitions Obesity epidemic & declining public health Diminished conservation ethic Local communities want economic growth Growing support for outdoor recreation

15 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division SCORP: A New Strategic Direction Local, state and federal governments must work with private sector organizations to invest in parks & outdoor recreation opportunities that: Promote Health/Fitness & Livability of All Georgia Communities Enhance Georgia's Economic Vitality Conserve & Properly Use Georgias Natural Resources

16 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Process to Change Behaviors Outcome Goals: Healthier, more sustainable Georgia Abundant, protected natural resources Responsive, accessible recreation opportunities Thriving and sustainable communities

17 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division GA SCORP Equestrian References As a key recommendation in promoting livable communities by connecting existing facilities for use by equestrians and other non-motorized modes of transportation As a directive for ALL outdoor recreation providers and partners to improve access to outdoor recreation resources and facilities by providing locations near where people live and work and exploring ways to connect existing facilities for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles (bikes, in-line skates, horses, etc.)

18 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division GA SCORP At our public meetings, one of the most frequently-made comments related to providing for equestrian access/sports "Efforts should be made to increase equine opportunity by providing: (1) longer trails, 10 to 20 miles (2) areas for camping with horses (3) more opportunity in southwest GA (4) sufficient space for trucks and horse trailers" Some comments that it is important to keep horse trails and foot trails separated

19 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Proposed GA Scenic Trail System Incorporate urban, bicycle, horse, rural hiking, primitive hiking, historical, recreational, water & combination trails Assist & encourage local jurisdictions, other state agencies, private associations & groups for trail development & maintenance Outline long-term needs for acquisition, development, maintenance & education

20 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Recreation Trails Program Recreational Trails Program (RTP ): federal grants that directly benefit access to public lands by funding development of new trails and maintenance of existing trails Future of funding: Congress is currently deliberating on the shape and contents of the next transportation bill, which may or may not reauthorize the RTP. Next GA grant cycle begins in October 2010: Funds available for nonmotorized trails - about $2 million.

21 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Recreation Trails Program Georgia's Trails and Greenways Advisory Committee Equestrian representatives: Diane Ayres Chattahoochee Trail Horse Association Larry Wheat Backcountry Horsemen of North Georgia Mike Medlock Rockdale Trailblazers

22 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Recreation Trail Program Past five years grants benefitting equestrian trails (7 grants totaling $513,858): USFS, Lake Russell Trail Complex - $28,098 USFS, Jake & Bull Mountain Trail System - $32,800 Cherokee County, Garland Mountain Trails - $75,000 Gwinnett County, Harbins Trails - $100,000 USFS, Dry Creek Trail System - $81,000 USFS, Ocmulgee River Equestrian Trails - $100,000 GA DNR, Cloudland Connector - $96,960

23 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Want to get involved? Continue to stay in touch with you representatives on our Trails and Greenway Advisory Committee Continue to help maintain and enhance the equestrian amenities at your area state parks Continue to provide people with opportunities to experience our great outdoors via horseback Continue to advocate for your state parks by letting your elected leaders know about the importance of supporting our public lands and natural spaces

24 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division FriendsofGaStateParks.org partner. promote. preserve. 53 Chapters w/ more forming $167,000+ in Chapter grants and projects in FY ,200+ volunteer hours (equates to $1,100,000+) More than $3.5 mm to sites since 2007 SaveMyStateParks.org

25 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Get Outdoors Georgia! Rec Clubs

26 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division A New GO Recreation Club? How about we start the "Get Out and Giddy-Up Club"?

27 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division A goal for the future? Continue to work with us to add a few more dots to this map and make Georgia an even greater equestrian destination!

28 Department of Natural Resources Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites Thank You Becky Kelley georgiastateparks.org


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