Don Carter State Park dedication
When: 11 a.m. Monday
Where: 5000 N. Browning Bridge Road, Gainesville
How much: Free, parking fee waived
A public dedication ceremony for the new Don Carter State Park in North Hall is set for 11 a.m. Monday.
Gov. Nathan Deal and other dignitaries are scheduled to speak at the formal opening of the park, which is at 5000 N. Browning Bridge Road, off Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road.
The park is a first for Hall County and Lake Lanier, which has a privately operated resort, Lake Lanier Islands, and day-use parks and campgrounds operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local governments.
“The state could not have found a more appropriate name to give this facility,” Gov. Nathan Deal has said.
“Don Carter State Park will provide families and friends with a fantastic recreational resource, and Hall County will benefit immensely from this asset.”
One of the speakers will be Doug Carter, son of the 81-year-old Don Carter, whose 29 years on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources board and efforts in identifying the park inspired DNR officials to name the park after him.
The park’s opening “represents a great cooperative effort between work that was done years ago — in terms of land preservation — and then looking ahead toward the planning and development of the park,” Doug Carter said.
He also praised the efforts of Hall County government, in terms of paving a tree-lined stretch of North Browning Bridge Road that leads to the park entrance.
Also, the park “is serving the purpose that, I think, my father had always hoped for and envisioned,” Carter said. “It is a great outdoor recreational space for the everyday person to come and enjoy.
“It’s getting people outdoors, exercising, having family time, fishing — all the things that have been an important part of (Don Carter’s) life.”
As part of the park’s formal opening, the $5 parking fee will be waived throughout the day. The park features a sandy beach in a cove off Lake Lanier, RV campsites, picnic shelters, playground, cabin, trails and boat ramps.
Some 60,000 people have visited the park since the July 15 informal opening, park manager Will Wagner said.
No speeches were made or ribbons cut on that day, but a variety of state and local officials, as well as Carter and his wife, Lucile, arrived early to greet visitors.
With his thumb pointed at the park’s sign behind him, Carter said, “I guess I’m a little disappointed they can’t put (the names of) all the people who had something to do with this (on the sign) instead of mine.”