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Sweetwater Creek part of free state park day Saturday
by Liz Marino
September 26, 2012 01:41 PM | 2073 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sweetwater Creek interpretive ranger Don Scarbrough points out highlights of the ‘rooftop garden’ and solar panels that provide 15 percent of the power for the visitors center.
Sweetwater Creek interpretive ranger Don Scarbrough points out highlights of the ‘rooftop garden’ and solar panels that provide 15 percent of the power for the visitors center.
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Pack up a picnic, pull out the fishing pole and enjoy nature’s beauty Saturday as Sweetwater Creek State Park joins Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites in celebrating Free Day at the Parks.

On this day, visitors will not have to pay for parking or admission, according to Don Scarbrough Jr., interpretative ranger at Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs.

In addition to free parking Saturday, Georgia residents will not need a fishing license on that day to enjoy wetting a line in the park’s 215-acre George Sparks reservoir or from the banks of Sweetwater Creek.

Sponsored by the Friends of Georgia States Parks, the event coincides with National Public Lands day, and focuses on ways that parks enrich communities and promotes volunteerism.

“We’re calling the celebration ‘Your State Parks Day’ to remind Georgians that state parks and historic sites belong to them,” said Andy Fleming, executive director of Friends of Georgia State Parks. “We’re hoping more people will visit the state park closest to their homes, and that they’ll join one of the service projects happening there.”

Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park is sponsoring a trail works day Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Scarbrough said.

“Volunteers will be on the trails, clipping branches, cutting down small trees, some chain saw work,” he said. “They will be picking up trash along the lake and Sweetwater Creek, working out of canoes and kayaks.”

In addition to easy to more challenging one- to three-mile hiking trails and fishing, visitors can enjoy picnicking throughout the park and strolling through the interpretive center which features the history and life in the New Manchester community.

Well worth viewing atop the interpretive center are two green vegetative roof gardens, one planted and maintained by the Douglas County Master Gardeners and the most recent, a local Eagle Scout project, Scarbrough said.

A recent butterfly count discovered 42 different species attracted to the gardens, the park ranger noted.

Adults and children ages 6 and older are invited to volunteer for the clean-up efforts.

Scarbrough encourages interested volunteers to call ahead to register their attendance at (770) 732-5871.
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