Union Volunteers Restore 
Views at Ga. State Park


April 25, 2014


Volunteers from Atlanta Local 613 joined other trade unionists Feb. 8 to help beautify southwest Georgia’s Providence Canyon State Park. Photo credit: Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.

Vistas at Providence Canyon State Park, known to locals as Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon, will be enhanced by seven miles of restored trails, thanks to union members.


Twelve volunteers, including members of Atlanta Local 613, gathered Feb. 8 to clear downed fencing, remove fallen trees, cut dead overhead limbs and refresh trail markers winding through the 550-foot canyon.

“Seven miles is a lengthy area to clear,” said Dave Hall, who helps lead conservation efforts for the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, the group coordinating the effort. “It was one of the most fulfilling events I have ever been a part of. Everyone had a sense of pride knowing the work we were doing would have a lasting impression on the park staff and our community.”

The volunteers – whose unions comprise the Columbus Metal Trades Council – learned about the opportunity to help restore the park through USA’s Adopt-A-Park program.

Park Manager Tracy Yearta said that he had been trying to find a way to beautify Providence Canyon while working with limited resources. “We were trying to form a game plan to tackle a section of park that we felt needed the most attention, because we didn’t have the manpower to do the whole thing,” he said.

But with the union members’ help, the entire main hiking trail – a primary draw of the park – now looks better than it has in years, Yearta said.

“I just can’t say enough how much I appreciate those guys taking their personal time to come out and help,” Yearta said. “It’s really important to the visitors and park staff. Groups like the Columbus Metal Trades Council are a tremendous asset to the park system.”

Located in Fort Benning in the western part of the state, the CMTC is an umbrella group of six unions including the IBEW, operating engineers, laborers, plumbers and pipefitters, machinists and sheet metal workers.

To learn more about the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s efforts to improve the outdoors, visit their website.


Homepage photo used under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user Kay Gaensler.