Nearly eight decades after Chehaw State Park opened its gates with funding from President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the organization is no longer being managed as a department of the City of Albany, nor is it named the Parks at Chehaw. Beginning today, Albany’s most seasoned tourist attraction is now officially Chehaw and the Park’s slogan is simply: Nature’s Playground.
“Introducing Chehaw’s new image to the public is really the first visual we have to show for the many months and even years of hard work every employee and Chehaw Park Authority member has put towards making our organization self-sufficient,” said Doug Porter, executive director of Chehaw. “As a non-profit, we know that in order to reach the type of visitors, donors and sponsors we need for this organization to stand on its own, it is imperative that we have an image that truly stands for what Chehaw is and strives to become. The new logo design, tag line and advertising campaign are strong yet timeless, just like Chehaw.”
Although Chehaw continues to receive funding and support from the City of Albany, the Park has established the Chehaw Park Foundation to work toward raising the money necessary to be fully self-sufficient in the coming years.
“Over the past few years, the City has invested one million dollars in Chehaw every fiscal year. In return, Chehaw is credited with making an economic impact on our area of over ten million dollars,” said Mark Pickett, Chehaw Park Authority chairman. “A return on investment like that is something that makes us all very proud.”
As Chehaw continues to morph into a traditional non-profit organization, look for the Park to embark on more innovative projects, like it’s newly opened Meerkat Habitat – the Zoo’s first interactive exhibit and the Park’s first structure to incorporate “green” building practices.
Featuring one of only two zoos in Georgia accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Chehaw also includes a BMX bicycle race track, 18-hole disc golf course, Wild Trail for walkers and runners and one of the largest playgrounds in the state. Chehaw hosts special events throughout the year, like the Native American Cultural Festival in the spring, Swamp Stomp Summer Camps in the summer and Festival of Lights during the holidays. For more information, visit www.ParksatChehaw.org or become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/chehaw.