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Wireless Internet Scores Big with Park Visitors
In the last year, a new technology has been added to many of Alabama’s state parks--wireless Internet. Alabama has embarked on one of the largest Wi-Fi deployments of any United States park system.

While many people love to come to Alabama’s state parks to experience the beauty of nature, to relax, to hike, fish and explore, sometimes it’s difficult--if not impossible--to fully unplug from technology. School, work, financial transactions and social networking are just a few of the many reasons people want to be connected. Alabama State Parks’ Wi-Fi network was designed to provide guests with a reliable Internet connection so they can stay in touch with friends and family and be capable of conducting essential business.

Beginning with Gulf State Park in August 2010, the parks system has deployed over 600 radios, routers, and relays, utilizing 92 miles of wireless networks to provide Internet to more than 1,200 campsites for more than 20,000 guests.

At this time, Lakepoint, Gulf, Wind Creek and Cheaha State Parks have full-scale deployments. Lake Guntersville, Joe Wheeler and Oak Mountain are in the final stages.

Rather than create a few localized “hot spots,” these deployments have turned entire campgrounds “hot,” allowing for guests to stay connected in the comfort of their own RVs. Ongoing support and continuous improvements have been implemented to ensure any problem areas or outages are remedied in short order.

The next time you take a trip and need to stay connected, Alabama State Parks will be ready to meet your needs!


Oak Mountain Hosting
Triathlon World Championship
Thousands of visitors are expected when Oak Mountain State Park hosts the Second Annual International Triathlon Union (ITU) Cross Triathlon World Championships and the Seventh Annual XTERRA Southeast Championship races May 19-20, 2012. The ITU has selected TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA to produce the 2012 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship. The inaugural event was held last year in Extremadura, Spain. The triathlon and multi-sport family is extensive and far-reaching, and ITU is delighted to form a partnership with XTERRA. This is the first time the event will be held in the United States.
 
The ITR World Championships will be held in conjunction with the 70th Annual XTERRA Southeast Championship race, with local support from Shelby County, City of Pelham, City of Hoover, Oak Mountain State Park and the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (BUMP).
 
The ITU Championships will take place on Saturday, May 19, 2012, followed by the XTERRA Southeast Championships on Sunday, May 20, 2012. For more information regarding the two events call 1-877-XTERRA-1 or visit www.xterraplanet.com/xduro/oakmtn.html.

Kids Fishing Jubilee at Gulf State Park
Gulf State Park will host a Kids Fishing Jubilee on April 28, 2012, at Lake Shelby. From 8 a.m. until noon, kids ages 15 and under can fish for free and catch/keep up to five catfish each.
 
Contact the Gulf Nature Center for more information: Gulf.StatePark@dcnr.alabama.gov or call (251) 948-7275 and inquire about the fishing ticket.
Programs are for all ages and free with admission to the park. Meet at the Campground Pavilion (B-side) at 10 a.m. on the following dates:
 
4/21/2012 – Plant ID. Who Do Ivy?
5/5/2012 – To Be a Park Ranger
5/12/2012 – Birds of a Feather
5/26/2012 – That Was Made From a Rock?
5/28/2012 – Memorial Day Bug Races
 
Call (205) 620-2520 or email OakMountain.Naturalist@dcnr.alabama.gov for more information.

UPCOMING EVENTS
 
4/21/2012
National Jr. Ranger Day is designed to help kids and families explore and learn all about their national and state parks. Programs will be at DeSoto State Park and Little River Canyon. For more information email Brittney.hughes@dcnr.alabama.gov or call (256) 997-5025.
 
4/21/2012 – MWV Fishing Team – Weigh-in at 2 p.m. Contact Larry Benton at (229) 366-1759.
4/21/2012 – Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail – Weigh-in at 3 p.m. Contact Danny or Tina East at (706) 315-8490.
4/21/2012 – Marine Corp League Catfish Tournament – Weigh-in at 4 p.m. Contact Michael Garnett at (334) 691-5053
5/5/2012 – C&R Bass Series – Weigh-in at 3 p.m. Contact Clay Johns at (770) 722-5795 or email info@candroutdoors.com
 
4/21/2012 – BASS Federation Nation Tournament – Weigh-in at 3 p.m. Call for more information (334) 857-3198
4/28/2012 – Gamblers Bait Fishing Tournament – Contact (256) 329-0845. Blast off at safe light.
5/12/2012 – Cast for Kids – Contact (256) 329-0845
5/12/2012 – Dadeville High School Band Tournament – Contact (256) 329-0845
 
5/5/2012, 5/12/2012, 5/19/2012
Call Patti Donnellan at (256) 571-5440 or email patti.donnellan@dcnr.alabama.gov for more information on locations, and times for various trail hikes at the park.
 
5/13/2012-5/14/12
Reserve a room for up to four and get a 50% discount for May 13-14th, 2012. Call the park office at (800) 846-2654 for more details and for information about the Mother’s Day Buffet; Cheaha.event@dcnr.alabama.gov .

Sea Turtle
Volunteers Needed
Sea turtle season begins May 1. Volunteers are needed to help monitor the beach for turtle tracks and turtle nests. Volunteers must be trained by a Share the Beach team leader and be willing to donate a minimum of two months to the program. For more information, visit www.alabamaseaturtles.com or call 1-866-sea-turtle.
 

Wildflower Saturday at DeSoto May 5
Springtime at DeSoto State Park is truly beautiful, with wildflowers and trees blooming around every corner. Join DeSoto State Park staff and volunteers for a wonderful day of learning about the many species of blooming plants found on Lookout Mountain.
 
Activities include three scheduled hikes and a presentation in the lodge in the evening.
 
Call Brittney Hughes (256) 997-5025 or email for more information.
 

Park’s Path
Welcomes Golfers
“The Park’s Path: An Alabama Golf Destination,” is the new name for the Alabama State Parks golf trail. Also new to Alabama State Parks golf experience is the Parks Path Golf Card, which allows players to receive 50 percent off of green fees at any of the six trail courses. The cards will be available for purchase at the Joe Wheeler, Oak Mountain, Lakepoint, Roland Cooper, Gulf and Lake Guntersville pro shops.
 
Courses included in
the Path are:
 
The “General”
 
The “Oaks”
 
The “Sanctuary”
 
“Deer Haven”
 
The “Refuge”
 
The “Eagle’s Nest”
 
For tee times, green fees, and reservations contact the individual parks or visit www.alapark.com.

Give Us Your
Feedback
To make sure we are providing the best possible visitor experience, we’re asking for feedback on your park visit.
 
Online surveys are available for day-use visits, dining and overnight stays.
 
Whether you camped or stayed in one of the cabins or hotels, please tell us about your stay. Click here to fill out a survey.
Outdoor Alabama — Something for Everyone
Whether you enjoy birdwatching, bass fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, or just reading about our state’s natural resources, you’ll find it in Outdoor Alabama magazine. Each subscription also includes the beautiful calendar issue in December and the photo contest issue in February.
 
April 2012 Alabama State Parks eNewsletter

Official eNewsletter of Alabama State Parks 1-800-ALAPARK (1-800-252-7275)
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
64 N. Union Street, Suite 538 - Montgomery, Alabama 36130

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