Democrats and Republicans Join Together For
Scouting and Georgia State Parks
Press Conference Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m. in Georgia Capitol Rotunda
February 11, 2010 09:03 AM Eastern Time
ATLANTA--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Inside the Georgia Capitol today at 1:30 p.m., legislators from both
parties are joining together to support Georgia’s State Parks, which have suffered heavily from painful budget cuts,
necessitated by severe declines in state income. A contingent of Boy Scouts will surround Democratic and
Republican legislators, Governor Sonny Perdue, and Georgia State Parks Director Becky Kelley as these leaders
announce the “Scouting for State Parks” initiative which will engage thousands of Scouts and volunteers in service
projects benefiting Georgia State Parks.
As in many state park systems, income shortfalls and budget cuts have forced Georgia’s State Parks to forgo much-
needed maintenance, cancel improvement projects, and cut staff. The Scouting for State Parks initiative helps the
state continue to manage its parks at no additional cost to taxpayers by enlisting many of Georgia’s 200,000 Scouts,
leaders, volunteers, and alumni. It demonstrates what cooperation between the state and its citizens can achieve.
Each of Georgia’s thirteen Boy Scout chapters (called “councils”) has committed to undertake a service project for a
local state park during 2010, the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, councils will
encourage youth pursuing Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest rank, to perform their capstone community project in a
Georgia State Park. Annually, 1,200 Georgia Boy Scouts earn the Eagle Scout rank (50,000 nationwide).
Republican Senator Chip Pearson and Representative Earl Ehrhart are co-sponsoring the initiative with
Democratic Senator George Hooks and Representative Pedro Marin. All are Eagle Scouts. “I’ve had a unique
opportunity to see first-hand the level of dedication the organization, its Scouts and volunteers bring to each project,”
said Sen. Pears