Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy Celebrates its
After more than nine months of organizing by a small group of dedicated volunteers, on November 1, 2012, the Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy was born as the official friends group and primary philanthropic partner of the CRNRA. By our 10th birthday on November 1, 2022, CNPC raised more than $1.3 million in support of our mission to build a community of support for the CRNRA and promote stewardship of its natural and cultural resources. And we are just getting started!
In our first 10 years we have completed many impressive improvement projects in the CRNRA, such as replacing the kid’s fishing pier at Island Ford, constructing a 106-step Vickery Creek staircase, rehabilitating the Sope Creek multi-use trails, replacing river overlooks in the Jones Bridge and Cochran Shoals units, and initiating a Lead the Pack, Bag and Bin It campaign. Also, starting in 2016, we have worked with the park to create a Comprehensive Trails Management Plan, completed in 2022, to improve trails throughout the park. We are continuing this focus on physical improvements in the park with current projects to create a pollinator garden at Island Ford, replace three damaged bridges, improve six miles of badly eroded trails, and work toward funding implementation of the Comprehensive Trails Management Plan. CNPC has also created exciting programs to bring people to the CRNRA, including Discovery Days at Sibley Pond, Community Hikes, HikeCRNRA, and Corporate and Community Group Volunteer events in the park. Again, all of that is the work of a 10-year-old. And we are just getting started!
In our first 10 years, CNPC has been fueled primarily by volunteers giving their personal time for the benefit of the park. The number of volunteers making significant contributions in our 10 years since inception is too long to list, but here are a few honorable mentions:
From the founding board, Beth St. Jean (President), Cheryl Lenker (Secretary), and Bill Goldstrohm, Jr., (Treasurer), as well as our second President, Jim Schulz, spent countless hours creating founding documents and working to establish CNPC’s 501(c)3 non-profit tax status. Later, Dyna Kohler and her late husband John focused on the history of CRNRA, funding and helping create a fascinating oral history video, River Rats and Junior Leaguers, documenting the founding of CRNRA Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy - Home (chattahoocheeparks.org). And our third, fourth and fifth Presidents, Sally Bethea, Phillip Hodges, and Graham Dorian, ramped up fundraising for CNPC to become the organization you see today, positioning a successful 10-year-old CNPC to become a fast-growing teenager with grand ambitions.
Incorporated as the Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy with a December 31 fiscal year end, in 2017 we changed our fiscal year end to September 30 to match the federal government fiscal year, and in 2020 we changed our name to Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy to help better identify the park we support as a unit of the National Park System.
Together with you, our dedicated supporters, we can look forward to doing even more to improve our park during our second decade. Thank you for a great first 10! And remember….we are just getting started!