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Parks day offers free admission
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Forsyth County News

If you’ve been tempted to check out one of the state’s parks and historic sites, there’s no better time than Saturday.

Not only is the fall weather perfect for getting out, but the state is waiving fees Saturday as part of “Your State Parks Day,” which is also part of National Public Lands Day 2012.

All National Park Service entrance fees will be waived to encourage participation.

Visitors will not be charged admission and parking fees will not be charged to Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites all day Saturday.

Andy Fleming, executive director of the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, said the celebration is being called “Your State Parks Day” to remind Georgians that state parks and historic sites belong to them.

“Parks add so much to our lives,” he said. “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 that day.”

The statewide event includes numerous volunteer projects and family-friendly programs.

At Fort Yargo in Winder, mountain bikers can work on trails. And at Unicoi near Helen, visitors can help clean up Smith Creek.

Friends is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Georgia’s state parks and historic sites in many ways.

Some members serve as campground hosts, others lead programs such as guided hikes and some help with basic maintenance.

“It’s no secret that state park systems across the country are struggling with limited funds and resources,” Fleming said. “We’re helping fill that gap. And regular park visitors can help too, by visiting more often, by staying overnight more often and by volunteering when they can.”