Georgia state parks seek corporate help for funding
The economic downturn has caused the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to seek out corporate sponsors to help keep parks across the state operating.
"What we're not seeking to do is rename any type of state parks after corporate donors," DNR Commissioner Chris Clark told the Gainesville Times newspaper. "We don't even have the authority to do that, and that's not our intent."
The intent is to help the state parks stay open and keep fees reasonable.
Clark says that since 2008, the DNR has seen a decrease of about 40 percent in state appropriations. In addition, the parks have also seen a decrease of about 24 percent in revenue.
"We are primarily supported by those park fees, so when we have that hit, 24 percent, it really does impact us pretty hard," he said.
Several corporate sponsors have helped the park system in the past, including Coca Cola, Verizon and outdoor and camping equipment retailer REI. The DNR is hoping to hire consultants to analyze other potential corporate sponsorship opportunities.