Click here to view this e-mail in your browser.

Lein Appointed
Alabama State Parks
Director
Gregory M. Lein has been appointed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as the new director of the State Parks Division. Lein is a native of Huntsville, Ala., and attended Auburn University for both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Most recently he served as assistant director of Alabama State Lands where he was heavily involved in managing the Forever Wild Land Trust.
 
Conservation Commissioner N. Gunter Guy Jr. said Lein’s selection is a reflection of his adept managerial and leadership skills. “Greg is a diligent, enthusiastic leader in our Department. Under his guidance, Forever Wild and other programs have flourished. I have no doubt he will bring those same skills to the Parks Director position.”
 
Lein says that outdoor recreation, the heart of the Alabama State Parks mission, is something very important to him. “My interests in conservation and outdoor recreation stem from childhood experiences on the family farm, the Boy Scouts, youth programs within the YMCA and the United Methodist Church, and the backdrop of Monte Sano and Green Mountain where I was raised,” he said. “I enjoy camping, backpacking, birding, hiking, paddling, mountain biking, gardening, fishing and hunting.
 
“I firmly believe that my personal interests and career choice are a result of my youthful adventures in the outdoors and access to public lands such as Monte Sano State Park and many of Alabama’s waterways. Access to our nation’s natural resources is part of our identity as Americans. I believe that the stewardship of these natural resources and the access we provide the public within our State Parks is a very important mission, and one I am honored to lead with our Parks’ employees,” Lein added.
 
The Alabama State Parks system is comprised of 22 parks spread throughout the state. The facilities range from resort parks with lodges and golf courses to smaller, day-use parks. Most offer camping and other recreational opportunities. Lein replaces Mark Easterwood, who retired as Alabama State Parks Director in late 2011.

Music and Joe Wheeler, A Great Combination
Joe Wheeler State Park is a great place to stay during two upcoming music events.
 
The 11th Annual Bluegrass Festival will be held at nearby Rogersville Recreation Park on July 19-21. Make Joe Wheeler your base and visit the bluegrass festival for music, crafts, food vendors and much more.
 
The Blind Boys of Alabama will headline the annual W.C. Handy Music Festival in Florence, Ala., on Saturday, July 28 at the University of North Alabama campus. This year’s festival is from July 20-29. As part of the festival, Joe Wheeler hosts food, fun and music on the patio of the lodge on Friday, July 27. Visit the music festival website for a listing of all music events.
 
Make your reservations now to stay in the lodge, campground or cabins during these events. Book your reservation online or contact joewheeler.lodge@dcnr.alabama.gov; (256) 247-5461.

World’s Longest Yard Sale
Shop ‘til you drop! The world’s longest yard sale is August 2-5, 2012, and it runs right through DeSoto State Park. This yard sale spans more than 650 miles of scenic beauty from Gadsden, Ala., to Hudson, Mich., but you don’t have to travel the entire route. Whether you’re traveling through or making Lookout Mountain your destination, plan to stay at DeSoto and take advantage of this unique shopping experience.
 
Contact the park office at 800-568-8840 for reservations, or make reservations online. More info on the longest yard sale is found at www.discoverlookoutmountain.com/yardsale.shtml.

UPCOMING EVENTS
 
7/28/2012, 8/8/2012 and 8/12/2012
For information on tournament contacts, times, etc., contact the Lakepoint Marina at (334) 687-6026. For overnight reservations, contact the park office (800) 544-5253.
 
7/21/2012, 7/28/2012, 8/4/2012, and 8/11/2012
Upcoming events include crafts, puppet shows, making ice cream in a bag and more! Call the park office at (256) 488-5115 for details, times and locations.
 
7/21/2012, 7/28/2012, 8/4/2012, 8/11/2012, 8/18/2012 and 8/25/2012
Call Patti Donnellan (256) 571-5440 or email patti.donnellan@dcnr.alabama.gov for more information on locations and times for trail hikes at the park.
 
7/20/2012, 7/21/2012, 8/17/2012, 8/18/2012, 8/24/2012 and 8/25/2012
Held at the campfire ring in the improved campground; in case of inclement weather, meet in the Nature Center. Free, great for all ages! Call (256) 997-5025 or email Brittney.Hughes@dcnr.alabama.gov for details--times vary. Join the staff at Desoto to learn more about natural objects, creatures, observe nature and various plants and animals of the great outdoors!
 
7/29/2012
This race is part of the 2012 Southeastern Regional Championship. For more information contact the park office (256) 845-5380 or email info@goneriding.com.
 
For a complete list of Alabama State Parks’ events visit the Events Calendar.

Cool Off at
Blue Springs
Fed by a crystal-clear underground spring, the Blue Springs State Park’s pool is the center of attention in this 103-acre park in southeast Alabama. Facilities include modern and primitive campgrounds, picnic shelters, tables, grills, comfort stations and playground. Blue Springs State Park is located six miles east of Clio in southeast Alabama. Nearby is the newly renovated and reopened Dale County Lake.

What’s Blooming Now
Wildflower and plant enthusiasts will enjoy a new page on Lake Guntersville State Park’s website, “What’s Blooming Now!” Visit this page weekly for new photos and interesting facts on a flower that grows at the park. Passonflower photo by Nickey Jackson.

Parks Geocaching Challenge
The first ever Alabama State Parks Geocaching Challenge (ASPGC) is well underway. Complete the challenge and receive a trackable geocoin designed just for this contest.
Here is how it works: visit all 22 Alabama state parks and gather a valuable clue from each designated park geocache. Note that there is more than one cache at all the parks; the clue is only in the cache with ASPGC in its name. Cache locations are listed on the Alabama State Parks website or at www.geocaching.com
When you have all 22 codes, proceed to the ASPGC Final Puzzle Cache. Armed with the information, you will be able to open the treasure chest. Once you have signed the log, follow the instructions in the cache and claim your very own Alabama State Parks Geocaching Challenge trackable geocoin. If you are new to geocaching, find out how to get started by visiting www.geocaching.com. Enjoy your adventure!

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.
 
July 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

Click here to Unsubscribe.
Alabama State Seal