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Step Back in Time. Visit Chesser Island, Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge, Folkston GA

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Hosts

"Christmas on Chesser Island"


Celebrate the holidays with staff and volunteers at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, December 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for Christmas on Chesser Island, a fun, family friendly event!

The Chesser Family first settled in the Okefenokee Swamp in the late 1800s. Today, their presence is felt by hundreds of thousands of refuge visitors each year at the Chesser Island Homestead.

This free event will feature activities for the entire family! Enjoy a hayride, holiday crafts, and singing around the bonfire. Visitors are encouraged to join in the singing of traditional Christmas carols with the Roddenberry sisters. The Okefenokee Wildlife League will provide free refreshments.

Christmas on Chesser Island takes place inside the east entrance of Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, located approximately 7 miles southwest of Folkston, GA, off Okefenokee Parkway South (GA 121/23).  Admission to this event is free; however, visitors arriving prior to 3 p.m. must pay an entry fee of $5 per vehicle for a seven-day pass or $12 for an annual pass that expires one year from the date of purchase. For additional information, call the Visitor Center at (912) 496-7836 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday or visit

Christmas on Chesser Island is subject to cancellation in the event of inclement weather.

More of The Pinkest Party On Earth!

Macon Cherry Blossom Festival                    March 15-24, 2013

Each year groups of people flock to Washington D. C. to see the Cherry Blossom Festival, but did youcherry blossoms know that Macon has 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees, making it the largest Cherry Blossom Festival in the country!

Did you know there is a tie between Macon and Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Wind?  Storyteller extraordinaire, Peter Bonner will make the story come to life for your group.  He can also talk about the Civil War connection in Macon.  Peter presents "History that won't wash off!"  He has been entertaining groups throughout Georgia for 16 years providing affordable, personalized and engaging historical programs for adult groups and students too.

We can arrange a luncheon or dinner in a historic home, talks about the houses or the people who lived in them.  The Neel House has connection with Hills & Dales in LaGrange, Georgia which could be added as part of a daytrip with Callaway Gardens.

One of the specialties that I found while visiting Macon was the Mark Smith Panetarium at the Museum of Arts and Sciences.  This panetarium is the largest one in Central Georgia and you can see what is going on in the sky above.  Visitors explore space and fly to the farthest reaches of the universe to see distant stars, nebulae and other galaxies.  Space is only in the beginning!

We have all the makin's for a wonderful tour.  You pick and choose what you want to do.  Several days incallaway_gardens_1Macon?  Yes, we can do that!  Several days in Macon and a day at Callaway Gardens?  Yes, we can do that!  Two days in Macon and two days in Atlanta?  Yes, we can do that!  Our local Tour directors will show your groups a fun time and they will experience our brand of Southern Hospitality!  Come on down!


The Pinkest Party on Earth!

cherry-blossoms-macon from peter greenburg

Are you ready for the Pinkest Party on Earth?

Macon, Georgia

March 14-29, 2014

I recently spent a week in Macon Georgia searching out all the fun things to see and do while visiting the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival. Macon boasts 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees now, making it the largest Cherry Blossom Festival in the Country......even bigger than Washington D. C. Who knew?????? It was voted as one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association. Think that says you should bring a group to the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival?

Along with all the cherry trees, Macon has four theatres, one that brings in the larger productions. The Grand Opera House will be featuring a production the second weekend of the festival.
There is a new murder mystery theatre that your groups can participate in. There are many musical productions at the Mercer University Townsend School of Music. With all of these possibilities, it just gives you more reasons to come back to Macon since there is already nightly entertainment provided by the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Digital Darkroom & Photography Workshop Set for June 16 Want to make the perfect picture even better? Managers at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge are pleased to announce award-winning nature photographer John Reed will have a Digital Darkroom Photogr

Digital Darkroom & Photography Workshop Set for June 16

Want to make the perfect picture even better? Managers at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge are pleased to announce award-winning nature photographer John Reed will have a Digital Darkroom Photography Workshop on Saturday, June 16, 2012 from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with check-in starting at 6:30 a.m.

The day begins with a photo shoot at the renowned Okefenokee Swamp. Later, learn the fundamentals of processing and adjusting your photograph on the computer. The concepts covered will work with Photoshop and other digital darkroom software. You may also bring pictures you have previously taken on a thumb drive (flash drive) or a CD. Bringing your own laptop is recommend, but not necessary as one may still observe all the methods demonstrated during the workshop.

Space is limited to the first thirty registrants, so register today! The cost of the workshop is $45 if payment is received on or before June 1. The workshop will be $50 if payment is received from June 2 until June 15, and the workshop is $55 at the door. We will accept cash, checks or money orders. Please address all checks and money orders to Okefenokee Wildlife League (OWL) and send them to 4155 Suwannee Canal Road, Folkston, GA 31537. To register, please call (912) 496-7836 between 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily.

The workshop takes place inside the East Entrance seven miles southwest of Folkston, GA along Georgia Highway 121/23. Classroom activities and check-in takes place in the environmental education classroom across the breezeway from Okefenokee Adventures.

Okefenonkee Wildlife Refuge Thanking America's Armed Forces

Thanking America’s Armed Forces

Active Duty U.S. Military Offered Free Entrance
to National Wildlife Refuges

To show appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Military, on May 19 – Armed Forces Day – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin issuing an annual pass offering free entrance for active duty military members and their dependents to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and every unit of the Refuge System, as well as National Parks and other public lands.

“Through the years, military members, especially those far from home in times of conflict, have found inspiration and rejuvenation in America’s wild landscapes. Their dedication enables all Americans to enjoy these special places in safety and security,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “This new pass gives us a way to thank members of the Armed Forces and their families for their service and their sacrifices.”

Active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents can pick up their pass at the refuge fee booth inside the east entrance, 7 miles southwest of Folkston, GA off Georgia Highway 121/23 or at the Stephen C. Foster State Park office, 19 miles from Fargo, GA on Georgia Highway 177. Active duty members or their dependents must show a current, valid military identification card to obtain their pass. More information is available at

Currently, 35 units of the National Wildlife Refuge System charge entrance fees. This military version of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass also permits free entrance to all of them, as well as to sites managed by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service that charge entrance fees. The pass is also available through these Federal agencies.

“We’re proud to open our refuge to the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families,” said Okefenokee Refuge Manager Curt McCasland. “Refuges across the nation offer outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities, and we hope they’ll be able to relax and have fun with their families on this or any of our other outstanding refuges.”

The Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System and the military have strong ties. More than 200,000 acres of the Refuge System are former military lands, and nearly 50 of the 556 units in the Refuge System include lands transferred from the military to the Service. Following World War I and all subsequent conflicts in our nation’s history, returning veterans took advantage of hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational opportunities on refuge lands – and thousands continue to enjoy these activities. Today, the Service employs some 1,400 veterans in full-time and temporary positions, equal to nearly 20 percent of the agency’s workforce.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page

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