Atlanta, GA

It's Earth Day: Send Your Comments on Chattahoochee Recreation Area Upgrades to National Park Service

DeanLand

It's not every day that the National Park Service (NPS) asks for local resident input on its future plans. So since the Atlanta NPS brand is doing just that, why not use Earth Day to provide your feedback on the proposed improvements.

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The Chattahoochee National Recreation Area is the part-time home to nearly 200 resident and migrating bird species.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

Earlier this year, NPS published a 278-page Comprehensive Trails Management Plan / Environmental Assessment document detailing proposed improvements at 19 locations within the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area (NRA). The public is invited to submit written comments on the proposals through April 30. So with Earth Day on Friday, April 22, this week is the perfect time to send in written comments about the first comprehensive improvement plan at Chattahoochee NRA since the park's creation in 1978.

Among the major initiatives are adding new, sustainable hiking trails to the parks, and trail restorations, reconstructions and relocations along the 65 miles of established trails. Other major plans listed in the NPS document call for improving visitor safety, installation of better trail marking and directional signage, adjusting parking areas and patterns to better match visitor use, and protecting natural and cultural resources through sustainable trails management practices.

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The NPS plan seeks balance between recreational use of the 14 parks and preserving the natural habitat.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

The NPS plan includes nearly 30 pages of details on preservation of the park's natural environment, including native plants, animals, soil erosion and wetlands preservation. Chattahoochee NRA is home to 813 native plant species and another 169 non-native plants, including invasive and threatening species such as Chinese privet, English ivy, kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, Japanese stiltgrass, mimosa, princess tree, and periwinkle.

Chattahoochee NRA also is a part-time home to 198 bird species, including migrating birds, plus the permanent home to as many as 41 mammal species, 47 reptile species and 31 amphibian species, according to NPS documents. The largest threat to all species is habitat fragmentation, including the loss of the original habitat, reduction in habitat patch size, and increasing isolation of habitat patches, according to NPS documents.

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I'm Dean Landeche, a trained journalist, global marketing executive and experienced business leader who has run successful enterprises spanning five continents while serving customers who are among the world's best and largest restaurants. I've left the corporate business world behind, now living in Northwest Georgia and writing about avocations including outdoor excursions, family-friendly travel, road trips, exploration ideas for active seniors and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries, and I'm still counting up. I'm now a traveler, hiker, cyclist, blogger, marketing consultant, community volunteer and local high school band nerd who previously has lived in Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Mississippi. I'm a South Louisiana-born French Cajun whose great-grandparents were sugar farmers, bar owners and reputed bootleggers. My upbringing in food-rich Louisiana and my restaurant industry career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. That also inspired the name of my blog, OurTravelCafe.com. There, I offer up a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA
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