Georgia News

Georgia State Parks offer peaceful Spring Break refuge for vacationers and animals

Georgia State Parks Logo

This Spring Break, break away from the wild life of the college crowd and migrate toward the wildlife at a Georgia State Park, where the gentle calls of birds and furry friends greet visitors waking up in their cabins or campsites and create a soothing melody for a good night’s sleep. Thousands of families, couples and friends emphatically agree that one of the most exciting and entertaining aspects of Georgia State Parks is wildlife-watching during their spring getaway.

From alligators in the swamps of Southeast Georgia, to woodpeckers all over the state, the variety of wildlife seems endless. In the air, Georgia’s location along a major migratory bird route means that more than 300 species including colorful painted buntings, bald eagles, and great egrets can be found here. Forty-six of Georgia’s 48 State Parks and Historic Sites have nature trails and/or nature centers, and many offer guided tours such as moonlight hikes or kayak paddles. Private group tours can sometimes be arranged in advance.

Take in the beauty of Georgia’s sensational spring wildflowers and admire the emerging foliage far from the highways, high-rises and expensive theme parks. Georgia State Parks is a great Spring Break destination that offers outdoor adventure and offers a way to enjoy Spring Break without breaking the bank.  Accommodations in one- to three-bedroom cabins range from around $85 to $160 per night. All come with a kitchen equipped for cooking, great views, screened rocking-chair porches and other comforts of home away from home. For details on Spring Break vacation accommodations, visit this link: http://gastateparks.org/cabins  To make reservations by phone, call 800-864-7275.

Guests looking for a cross between cabins and camping will love Yurts, with their tall, spacious tented sides on a permanent platform and deck. Prices start at $70 per night, with heat, beds and seating, and a grill and picnic table outside. For more surprising and delightful unique lodging options, visit here: http://gastateparks.org/unique

Then, of course, is the ultimate commune with wildlife and nature: backcountry camping, starting at $6 and up to modern campsites with many amenities, ranging from $24-$28 per night.  Forty-one parks offer more than 2,700 campsites, including tent-only areas, RV pull-thru sites and group camping areas. Most state parks have laundry facilities and sell camping supplies. Prices vary depending upon the park, amenities and season. For details, go to http://gastateparks.org/campsites

Not yet a camper but curious? Thanks to The North Face and REI, Georgia State Parks’ First-Time Camper program orients newbies to the joys of sleeping under the stars, with loaner gear and expert advice for a bargain price.  For just $50, adventure seekers spend two nights in a modern campground, trying out gear from the two leading outfitters. Campers borrow a six-man tent, sleeping pads, chairs, camp stove, lantern and marshmallow-roasting sticks. Park staff help set up tents and provide “Camping 101.”  Upon departure, campers exchange the gear for coupons for their next adventure.

Whether primitive camping or staying in a comfortable cottage, Georgia State Parks are delightfully affordable, while offering many of the amenities of luxury woodland resorts. While each is unique, most parks feature large tranquil lakes, river settings or waterfalls. Park guests can enjoy free hiking, fishing, geocaching, history, animal and nature programs, as well as low-cost bike rentals, boating, championship golf, mini-golf, disc golf, archery, caving and many other activities.

To enjoy Spring Break without going broke, start at www.gastateparks.org, and then browse the tabs for locations, reservations, and details on every Georgia State Park, activities and events.  To make reservations by phone,call 800-864-7275.

About Georgia State Park System:

Georgia’s State Parks are affordable destinations for vacations and quick getaways. Waterfalls and lakes, salt marsh and mountains are just some of the beautiful environments of the 48 state parks.  Georgia State Park Golf Courses offer the best variety and value around. With eight golf courses to choose from, each features natural settings and picturesque surroundings, as well as fun and challenging play. Most state parks offer fishing, boating, hiking, camping, geocaching, birding and more.  Accommodations include campsites, cabins, lodges, even yurts, and vary by park.  Among the 15 Georgia State Historic Sites are presidential homes, ancient Indian mounds, battlefields, plantations and even a gold museum.  Georgia’s public libraries have ParkPasses and Historic Site Passes that can be checked out like a book.  Annual ParkPasses are $50 (or just $25 for seniors 62 and older).  Even better, membership to Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites includes a free ParkPass and more discounts.  Campers can pick up loyalty cards that earn them every 10th night for free.  www.GaStateParks.org/thingstoknow.

Time to Apply for Georgia United Credit Union’s 2014 Scholarship Program

ShannelleBogleGUCUFeature 2013 Scholarship Winner, Lindsey Vinson

It’s time for members to apply for Georgia United Credit Union’s 20th Annual Scholarship Program! Open to high school seniors preparing to go to college or technical school this fall, Georgia United’s Scholarship Competition is one of the Credit Union’s most enduring and popular programs supporting continuing education. To date, Georgia United has already provided a total $145,000 in scholarships for high school seniors through this program!

The Vernon E. Carne scholarship focuses on a short essay of 250 words or less. This year’s topic is “Explain how the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’ helps consumers during these difficult economic times, while providing an alternative to large commercial banks. In addition, students should complete a Georgia United scholarship form and include a copy of their high school transcript and a letter of acceptance from the college or technical school they will attend.

Students (or their parents) must be members of Georgia United, and are encouraged to include information regarding financial need, scholastic standing, special achievements, and leadership.

All entries must be sent to Georgia United’s Marketing Department, 6705 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite 300, Duluth, GA 30097 by March 1, 2014. Winners will be announced April 1, 2014, and the decision of the judging panel will be final.

Program rules

Qualification sheet

Questions or More Information: (770) 476-6409

The Vernon E. Carne Scholarship for $10,000 will be distributed as follows:

  • 1st Place Recipient: $3,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,000
  • 3rd Place: $1,000
  • Top Eight Runners-Up: $500 each

About Georgia United Credit Union:

Georgia United Credit Union is ranked as one of the top credit unions in Georgia in both size and safety at $960 million in assets and 128,000 members statewide. Georgia United seeks to make members’ lives easier by offering products, services and education to help members meet their needs and achieve their goals. All accounts are federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) up to $250,000 per account.

Membership into Georgia United Credit Union is open to all state government employees, University System of Georgia colleges, county government employees, several local boards of education, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and employees of over 500 other groups. Visit www.georgiaunitedcu.org for more information.

 

Georgia’s ‘Remembering Our Fallen’ memorial wall arrives at the Capitol

Remembering Our Fallen memorial wall

Since October 20, 2013, the “Remembering Our Fallen” memorial wall has provided Georgians with an opportunity to honor their fallen service members. The wall has been on display at the National Infantry Museum, Georgia National Guard armories and Georgia Military College. On January 13, 2014, it arrived at the state Capitol.

The Georgia “Remembering Our Fallen” memorial wall is the eleventh of its kind in the United States. Each memorial wall is different; people can submit personal mementos, making each wall unique. These mementos come in many forms ranging from short letters to personal effects.

Georgia’s memorial displays photographs of uniformed soldiers, red, white and blue ribbons and American flags stretching the length of the walkway inside the James (Sloppy) Floyd Veteran Memorial Building’s plaza. The wall honors nearly 200 of Georgia’s service members from all branches and components of the military lost in action during the War on Terror. The memorial tells the collective story of service and sacrifice through images and through mementos left by family members, friends and fellow service members.

For example, the memorial image of Sgt. 1st Class John Beale is adorned with the patch of Beale’s Georgia Guard unit, the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Left by a fellow service member, the patch is a reminder of sacrifices made and service that endures.

The memorial wall incorporates images of other fallen Guardsmen as well as members of other service components from Georgia or who were stationed in Georgia. The Georgia National Guard has deployed more than 16,500 Guardsman since 2003 and currently has more than 1,600 Guardsmen mobilized overseas. Thirty-eight Guardsman assigned to Georgia Guard units have been lost in service since that time.

The “Remembering Our Fallen” memorial wall will be on display in the James H. (Sloppy) Floyd Veteran Memorial Building at the state Capitol until February 5.

Patriotic Productions, the company that created Georgia’s memorial wall, was founded by Bill & Evonne Williams of Omaha, Nebraska. The couple had a desire to honor the United States military and now presents others who wish to do the same with the opportunity to pause and reflect on the sacrifice of Georgia service members. Though not veterans themselves, or children of veterans, the Williams’ four children currently serve in different branches of the U.S. military.

Click here for more photos of the memorial wall at the Capitol.