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Cobb residents taking advantage of free park passes from the library

Demand for ParkPass kits providing free admission to Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Site locations is growing among Cobb County residents, new data shows.

Circulation of ParkPass kits in Cobb County Public Library System (CCPLS) grew by almost 40 percent during the most recent 12-month reporting period for Georgia. The growth in circulation helped state circulation reach a new annual record.

ParkPass kits give library patrons free admission and parking to the more than 60 State Parks & Historic Site system’s locations. Each ParkPass pass is available for check-out for one week to allow for free entry for up to four visitors. The Historic Site pass gives free admission for one adult.

CCPLS data show the library system circulated 1,235 kits from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, Georgia’s 2012 fiscal year. The CCPLS figure is almost a 39 percent growth over the 962 kits circulated in fiscal year 2011.

“Several CCPLS patrons returning ParkPass kits have told us they enjoyed the experiences the ParkPass kits opened up for them,” said Jonathan McKeown, Associate Director for Central and Outreach Services. “While we’re excited about the technological innovations in our connected world, the ParkPasses are tickets for families seeking much needed outdoor activities.”

This year’s summer vacation season shows demand remaining high in the first days of the new fiscal year, suggesting many CCPLS patrons are discovering ParkPass kits are a “staycation” option for travel. During July, the first month of the new fiscal year, CCPLS circulated 150 kits. Demand has generated waiting lists at some CCPLS locations over the summer. Reserves can be made in person or through the CCPLS Web site, www.cobbcat.org.

Cobb County library patrons helped push Georgia to a record 14,687 ParkPass kits circulating in fiscal year 2012, up almost 10.2 percent over the 13,169 kits circulated in fiscal year 2011. Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) collected the statewide data.

Launched in June 2008, the ParkPass Library Loan Program is a partnership between the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and GPLS.  ParkPass kits allow library patrons to save on park admission daily fees of $5. Annual ParkPass fees are $50, according to the DNR.

While there are no State Parks in Cobb County, several are located near or within a few hours’ drive from the county.  Nearby Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites include Sweetwater Creek, located in Lithia Springs; Red Top Mountain State Park in Cartersville,  Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site near Dallas, and Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site in Cartersville. To learn more about healthy outdoor adventure ideas promoted by the DNR, visit www.getoutdoorsgeorgia.org..

For more information ParkPass kits and other free recreational options available through CCPLS, visit www.cobbcat.org/outdoor-adventures.

 

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