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County gets grant for park shelters

CONYERS -- This summer roughing it at the South Rockdale Community Park will be a little nicer with the construction of three Adirondack camp shelters.

The project is funded by a $7,000 grant from Home Depot. The county Parks Division and Home Depot will collaborate to build three campsites at the park's trail head. County workers will prepare the camp sites and volunteers are being sought to help construct the shelters later this month.

"It's just a great place to camp, and with the trail running through the park it was a great opportunity for us and Home Depot," said Jackie Lunsford, deputy director for parks, recreation and senior services.

Adirondack shelters are three-sided, wooden structures that allow campers to sleep off the ground and under cover of a roof. The shelters are similar to those found in national parks and along national hiking trails like the Appalachian Trail.

The shelters will be 12 feet by 16 feet and accommodate four to six campers.

Located at 3909 East Fairview Road in south Rockdale County, the 176-acre park offers a rustic setting for visitors compared to other parks in the county. There is a pavilion for large gatherings along with wooded walking trails and horse trails.

Lunsford said the campsites add another component to the park that will make it more attractive to visitors. The county plans to charge $8 per weeknight and $15 per weekend to use the shelters. Visitors will also be able to rent the pavilion and campsites together for $90.

Home Depot will provide supplies and volunteers to build the shelters. Due to liability issues, Home Depot requires all volunteers to be 18 years old or older.

Lunsford said 20 volunteers will be needed for a workday June 17 to help set posts in concrete for the shelters. Another 40 volunteers will be needed for the "build day," scheduled for June 22.

Volunteer teams of 12 members are being formed to work on different components of the campsite construction -- shelter building, picnic table building/installation, bench building/installation, fire ring building and refreshments (water, lunch and snacks).

To volunteer, call the Parks Division at the Johnson Park Recreation Center at 770-278-7529 or complete the Build a Campsite volunteer form found on the Parks and Recreation page on the Rockdale County website, www.rockdalecounty.org.