September events across the state

Below is a selection of September events at Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites. For more programs, visit www.GaStateParks.org/events and the parks’ web pages.  More information on accommodations and recreation can be found at GeorgiaStateParks.org or 1-800-864-7275.  Thank you for helping promote Georgia’s natural and historic resources!

Statewide

Your State Parks Day — Volunteer Projects
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Volunteer with Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites on a variety of service projects. Many will be working to establish Monarch Butterfly gardens as part of the nationwide effort to increase pollinator habitat. Free admission for all volunteers sponsored by the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. 770-383-8900.

Coastal Georgia

Labor Day at Fort McAllister
Saturday, September 5, 2015 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fort McAllister State Park – Richmond Hill, GA
Join us for old fashioned family fun, Civil War-era games and prizes. $5-$8 plus $5 parking. 912-727-2339.

Tools and Skills that Built a Colony
Saturday, September 5, 2015 until Monday, September 7, 2015 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah, GA
See craft demonstrations such as woodworking, blacksmithing, cooking, spinning, flint knapping, leatherworking, woodsman skills, pewter casting and more. $4.50-$10. 912-353-3023.

Labor Day at Fort King George
Monday, September 7, 2015 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fort King George Historic Site – Darien, GA
Watch musket and cannon firings, and see various jobs soldiers would “labor” on as part of their duties. $4.50-$7.50. 912-437-4770.

Labor Day Commemoration
Monday, September 7, 2015 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fort Morris Historic Site – Midway, GA
Commemorate Labor Day with hourly soldier talks, plus musket and cannon firings at this scenic coastal fort. $3-$4.50. 912-884-5999.

River Clean Up
Saturday, September 26, 2015 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Marys, GA
Join our river cleanup with Rivers Alive and the Cooperative Extension Office. We will clean along the water way and remove trash from fishing areas. Please wear clothing that can get dirty. Bring water, a hat, sunscreen and bug spray. 912-882-5256.

Tabby Ruins and Jones Narrows Clean Up
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah, GA
Join Wormsloe Historic Site in clearing brush and collecting firewood for Your State Parks Day. Dress comfortably. Work gloves will be provided. Please register by September 26. Sponsored by the Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. 912-353-3023.

Metro Atlanta

Dirty Spokes Trail Run
Saturday, September 5, 2015 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA
This park’s trails offer something for every runner. The well groomed system with gentle slopes and beautiful scenery will leave you breathless (if that doesn’t, the 7.0/3.5 mile will). Register at http://www.dirtyspokes.net/hard-labor-creek-state-park/ $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

Labor Day Weekend Night Kayak
Saturday, September 5, 2015 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, September 6, 2015 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA
Join a ranger and experience the beautiful night sky by kayak. Learn about the park history, astronomy, and enjoy a paddle under the stars. Tours meet at beach area, space is limited, per-registration required. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

New Moon Kayak Tour
Friday, September 11, 2015 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, September 12, 2015 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA
Lake Rutledge is a great place to enjoy the night sky. Join this ranger-led tour of the lake and enjoy night sounds, star-gazing, and a relaxing time on the water. A new moon means that many stars will be visible on the night-time paddle. The program will proceed if it is cloudy or lightly drizzling. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

Harvest at the Homestead
Saturday, September 19, 2015 11 a.m.
Sunday, September 20, 2015 11 a.m.
Red Top Mountain State Park – Acworth, GA
Fall was a busy time at old homesteads. Join us by the log cabin for old-timey toys and games, crafts, blacksmithing, cooking and more. Also enjoy the park’s trails, picnic areas, fishing and boating. $5 parking. 770-975-0055.

Total Lunar Eclipse Paddle
Sunday, September 27, 2015 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA
Enjoy this rare occasion to see a total lunar eclipse while paddling on Lake Rutledge. The eclipse will start at about 8 p.m. and reach the peak (Blood Moon phase) at about 10:00 p.m. Space is limited, please preregister. $20 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

Middle & South Georgia

Labor Day On The Lake
Saturday, September 5, 2015 until Monday, September 7, 2015 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Florence Marina State Park – Omaha, GA
Our family celebration includes games, nature programs and crafts, plus educational boat tours throughout the day. $1 – $5 plus $5 parking. 229-838-4706.

Labor Day at Jarrell Plantation
Saturday, September 5, 2015 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site – Juliette, GA
How better to celebrate Labor Day than learning about old-time labor? Enjoy handicraft making demonstrations, learn about how household chores were done, and try some yourself. $4-$6.50 plus 478-986-5172.

Americus Explorer Train Ride
Saturday, September 5, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 19, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
SAM Shortline Train – Cordele, GA
Riding in air-conditioned, 1949 vintage train cars, you can travel from Cordele through Georgia Veterans State Park, across Lake Blackshear, visit Historic Downtown Americus, and tour Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village. Fee. 229-276-0755.

Watermelon Express Train Ride
Friday, September 11, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
Friday, September 18, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
SAM Shortline Train – Cordele, GA
Enjoy this ride from our Downtown Cordele Depot to Historic Plains, the small Georgia town made famous by President Jimmy Carter. Fee. 229-276-0755.

Lovebug Festival
Saturday, September 19, 2015 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
General Coffee State Park – Nicholls, GA
Explore the wonderful world of insects with edible bug programs, crafts, dragon fly and butterfly hikes, insect demonstrations and more. $1 plus $5 parking. 912-384-7082.

Twilight Night Paddle
Saturday, September 19, 2015 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, September 25, 2015 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
High Falls State Park – Jackson, GA
Watch wading birds and enjoy the setting sun in this peaceful, ranger-led canoe trip to Buck Creek. This program is open to adults and children 8 years or older who are accompanied by an adult. Reservations required. $15 includes boat and gear. $5 parking. 478-993-3053.

Horse and Hiking Trails Clean-Up Day
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
A.H. Stephens State Park – Crawfordville, GA
Do you love to hike? Do you love to horseback ride? Help maintain your state park by cleaning up our nature trails and equestrian staging area. 706-456-2602.

Digging a Monarch Butterfly Garden
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
A.H. Stephens State Park – Crawfordville, GA
We will learn about the North American Monarch Butterfly and install a garden that will create a wonderful habitat. $5 parking. 706-456-2602.

Bridge & Sidewalk Refurbishing
Saturday, September 26, 2015 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs, GA
Volunteers are being sought to help pressure wash the bridge and sidewalks on the drive into the site. Equipment will be provided. You may get wet, so bring an extra set of clothes or shoes. Come for an hour or make a day of it. Volunteers will receive free admission. 706-655-5870.

Peanut Festival Train Ride
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SAM Shortline Train – Cordele, GA
All aboard for a wonderful adventure with fun, food and lots of peanuts. Vendors with arts and crafts will fill the park as you step off the train. 229-276-0755.

Northern Georgia

Labor Day Twilight Paddle
Friday, September 4, 2015 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Fort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA
Enjoy this relaxing paddle around scenic Lake Marbury. Learn about the history of the old fort, and enjoy the view under the setting sun. Space is limited, advance registration required. $15 plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.

Holiday Gorge Floor Hike
Saturday, September 5, 2015 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 6, 2015 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Monday, September 7, 2015 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls, GA
This is a strenuous trek, include hiking down 531 stairs, a river crossing jumping from rock to rock, and climbing boulders along the side of the river to Bridal Veil Falls where you can swim. Total miles is 3.5. No pets; wear appropriate footwear; children must be 10 or older; bring food and water. Space is limited; register in advance. $10 plus $5 parking. 706-754-7981.

12th Annual Mountain Music Festival
Saturday, September 12, 2015 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Vogel State Park – Blairsville, GA
Join us for bluegrass and gospel music, as well as art and craft booths with handmade items for sale. A food concession will be provided by Vogel Volunteers. $5 parking. 706-745-2628.

Youth Fishing Days at Buck Shoals
3rd Saturday of Month 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. from September 19, 2015 until September 20, 2015
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen, GA
Children and their special “big person” can fish in a lake stocked with catfish, bass and bream. Fish caught can be kept. Bring your own bait and rods. This event is not at Smithgall Woods, but at Buck Shoals, a nearby unopened state park. Call for directions. $5 parking. 706-878-3087.

Stone Wall, Fire Tower Overlook, Trail Clean-Up
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Fort Mountain State Park – Chatsworth, GA
Join in on a park clean-up day along the Stone Wall, Fire Tower and Overlook trail. Crews will pick up trash along the trail, cut and trim small trees along the stone wall and trail leading up to the Fire Tower. 706-422-1932.

Outdoor Adventure Day
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park – Summerville, GA
Enjoy a day on the water with the kids’ fishing event and canoe instruction. On land, a live reptile show will be offered. Children can learn more about hunter’s safety at the archery range, BB gun range and the laser shooting system. Hot dogs and drinks will be available. 706-857-0826.

Full Moon Paddle
Saturday, September 26, 2015 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls, GA
Enjoy a relaxing paddle around Tallulah lake as the full moon reflects off the water. This ranger-led event is an exciting way to get out in the evenings and enjoy nature. Space is limited, so register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-754-7981.

Your State Parks Day at Tugaloo
Saturday, September 26, 2015 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia, GA
Tugaloo State Park will be having family fun with to celebrate the end of summer. We will have canoe races in the cove by the park office. After the races we will also have a volunteer event to clean up the shoreline after a very busy summer season. $5 parking. 706-356-4362.

Total Lunar Eclipse Paddle
Sunday, September 27, 2015 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Fort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA
Don’t miss this rare occasion to see a total lunar eclipse while paddling on Lake Marbury. Join a ranger and enjoy the beautiful night sky by kayak. Tour will meet at the beach area. Register in advance. $20 plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.

Full-Moon Suspension Bridge Hike
Sunday, September 27, 2015 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls, GA
Enjoy a one-mile hike that takes you down the stairs across, the suspension bridge and on the rim of the gorge under the full moon. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. 706-754-7981.

Your State Parks Day

Looking for a service project within your community? Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites has a variety of service projects, such as river cleanups and trail maintenance available as part of “Your State Parks Day”on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

Many Georgia State Parks will be creating Monarch Butterfly gardens as part of the nationwide effort to increase pollinator habitat. Sponsored by Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, the statewide celebration of National Public Lands Day showcases how parks enrich communities and the importance of local volunteerism. Volunteer opportunities are available statewide at more than 60 State Parks & Historic Sites across Georgia. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaStateParks.org or call 770-383-8900.

Education Support Leave Now Available

Effective July 1, 2015, all full-time, non-temporary employees who work at least 40 hours per week will have a new type of leave available for use.  House Bill 313 was signed into law this year and will provide eligible employees with up to eight (8) paid hours of Education Support Leave per calendar year. Eligible employees will be able to request to use the Education Support Leave to participate in activities related to student achievement and academic support that promote education in Georgia.  This leave will be available to all eligible employees, both parents of students and non-parents, and may be considered for activities supporting public, private, and home school achievement. Activities that promote education in Georgia may include, but are not limited to, some of the following:

  • Attend Parent/Teacher conferences
  • Participate in classroom activities, such as reading to a class or presenting on career day
  • Tutor students without receiving compensation
  • Proctor examinations
  • Attend award and recognition ceremonies or graduation exercises
  • Participate in field day activities or field trips
  • Attend open house functions

State Personnel Board Rule 478-1-.16, Absence from Work, has been revised to include guidance on this type of leave and may be viewed on the Department of Administrative Services’ website.  Eligible employees should contact their direct supervisor or their Human Resources office for guidance on requesting and using this type of leave. Through the Education Support Leave program, eligible employees have the opportunity to support education at all levels, from pre-K/early care and learning all the way through higher education.  Employees may wish to contact their local school systems, private schools, day care facilities, technical colleges, and/or universities to inquire about opportunities to support education initiatives in their communities and any background check or other criteria they would need to meet before participating in volunteer activities.