ELIZABETHTOWN — Just in time for summer time fun, folks are reminded about the benefits and amenities at Jones Lake State Park. This past Wednesday, Shane Freeman, park superintendent of Jones Lake State Park, gave a presentation about all the numerous uses for Jones Lake to the Elizabethtown Rotary Club.
Freeman started with a brief overview of the State Park.
“Jones Lake State Park consists of 2,208 acres with 1,669 of land acres and 224 acres of Jones Lake, and 315 acres of Salter’s Lake,” he said.
According to Freeman, there are eight permanent staff members, one superintendent, three park rangers, three Maintenance Staff members and one Office Assistant.
Camping, fishing, canoeing, swimming, and hiking trails are not all that is offered at Jones Lake. Freeman explained a little over ten years ago the construction of the Visitor Center took place. The 6,000-square-foot Visitor Center has a bathhouse, and a boathouse. The Visitor Center has a 70-seat auditorium, a 30-seat classroom and an exhibit hall where people can come to learn about the state park.
“We always try to do a general public program every weekend. We do programs on snakes, reptiles, canoes, hikes and a variety of other program. We started some new items, such as; we show some educational movies and documentaries as well. Those are working out really well,” Freeman said.
There are programs for groups upon request, like scouts, churches, and schools, according to Freeman. Birthday parties may be held there as well with a presentation from a Ranger. All anyone interested has to do is contact the park’s office to schedule the event.
Freeman named some big events like the Environmental Days and the Easter Celebration held at the park each year too. He stated the events are expected to grow even bigger as the staff at the park receives assistance from the Friends of the Bay Lakes and other sponsors and volunteers.
He then mentioned the Friends of the Bay Lakes, what the committee is about, and announced currently the group is looking for more members. Freeman explained the goals of the Friends of the Bay Lakes are to maintain and improve the events, partner with other organizations to achieve common goals, conduct fundraisers, develop and implement new events and programs as funding and volunteers allow and procure educational and recreational equipment and supplies for specialized programs. Anyone interested in joining the group may contact the park to find out more.
If you would like more information about Jones Lake State Park you may visit their website at http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jone/main.php.