Thanks to a lease agreement between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Hart and Stephens counties, three parks at Hartwell Lake previously slated for closure this year will remain open to the public.
Effective May 1, the government of Stephens County, Ga., will begin operations and maintenance of Stephens County Park; and the government of Hart County, Ga., will begin operations and maintenance of the Milltown and Long Point recreation areas.
Current Corps of Engineers annual passes will be honored at these locations until they expire.
“Decreasing federal funding for recreation has made it increasingly difficult for the Corps of Engineers to maintain all Corps-operated recreation areas in a safe and functional condition for public use,” said Kenneth Bedenbaugh, Hartwell natural resources program manager. “To avoid closure of selected recreation areas, we reached out to municipalities around Hartwell Lake to explore interest in leasing certain areas for future operation and maintenance.”
The Corps of Engineers will continue to operate and maintain Watsadler and Payne’s Creek Campgrounds, Big Oaks and Elrod Ferry day use areas, and several access areas within Hart County. The Corps will also continue operation and maintenance of Jenkins Ferry, Spring Branch and Walker Creek access areas in Stephens County.
For more information or questions, please contact Kenneth Bedenbaugh at 1-888-893-0678, ext. 337.