For many, summer months are truly a time of excitement and discovery in Georgia state parks. School is no longer in session and yet so many kids are gaining a valuable education at our great state parks. Whether through Junior Ranger Camps, nature hikes, or outdoor adventures, kids of all ages gain great memories and a wealth of knowledge that extends beyond the classroom.
Parks of course are important to each of us but to kids, it's a safe haven for exploration and adventure. For families, it's an opportunity for outdoor recreation and untouched lands unlike anywhere else in their neighborhoods. Thanks to our trained rangers and staff, as well as our Friends chapters, our Georgia state parks are kept clean and safe for visitors of all ages.
Part of the beauty of our state parks is that nature is readily available at our very finger tips. Unfortunately, this isn't the case in so many areas of our country today. Parks offer the opportunities of studying and exploring various ecosystems and state heritage in an up-close and personal way. It is through these tangible moments that create fun, memorable learning opportunities.
It is this personal discovery that provides a heightened sense of adventure within each of us and a desire for exploration. Through the sense of adventure, exploration sets in and soon many of us forget that we are providing our bodies with much-needed exercise, fresh air, and lasting memories. Many of us have very dear memories of our childhoods hiking through the woods with family or friends, catching crawdads at the park creeks, roasting gooey marshmallows over a fire during a camping weekend, or searching frantically for any sign of natural wildlife living in the deep woods. It's the twinkling eye and cheeky grin of child catching his first glimpse of a white tailed deer as he points and shouts of his greatest discovery that encourages us and reminds each of us of these great treasures.
Parks provide not only these great memories and adventures but a home to so many of our native plants and animals. Protecting these resources is what protects our quality of life. Thanks to the efforts of Friends and park staffs, many of us continue to fight for the preservation of our lands and heritage.
As you head to the park this summer with your family and friends, ask yourself what Georgia state parks mean to you. Bring your cameras and nature journals as you document your favorite moments or take some time to research why your local state parks and historic sites were created and are still in existence today. Thank you for visiting Georgia's state parks and supporting Friends and our efforts to protect and preserve Georgia's greatest treasures.