One of Savannah’s most photographed historic sites, colonial Wormsloe, unveiled its new visitor center on Wednesday, January 3. State and local leaders, Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials, members of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund Board of Trustees, and others gathered for the ribbon-cutting at the new Wormsloe State Historic Site Visitor Center.
The Board of Trustees of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund and DNR Board Members, pictured left to right: CRD Director Doug Haymans, DNR Board Member Nancy Addison, DNR Board Member Lesley Reynolds, WRD Director Ted Will, GOSP Board Member Truitt Eavenson, GOSP Board Member Eddie Canon, DNR Commissioner Walter Rabon, PHSD Director Angie Johnson, and EPD Director Jeff Cown.
Wormsloe State Historic Site preserves the estate of one of Georgia’s first settlers from England, and its tabby ruins are among the oldest structures in Savannah. The new, 6,000-square-foot building offers a large patio with fireplace, gift shop, meeting space and introductory information about the site. Repurposed materials include slate roofing material from a historic dock, as well as an iron gate from the 1930s formal gardens.
“I believe it will be the perfect place to welcome the 185,000 visitors that come to Wormsloe each year,” said Walter Rabon, Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.
A new trolley system will be operated out of the visitor center to take visitors down the iconic 1.5 mile Live Oak Avenue which will help protect the historic trees from frequent auto traffic. The reduced traffic will also be an added benefit for those photographing the famous lane. Visitors will soon be able to rent bicycles to pedal down the avenue. New landscaping includes native plants, young cypress trees and live oaks, and a water feature. Once guests pass through the new visitor center, they can explore a museum, tabby ruins, colonial life area, nature trails and marsh views.
The new visitor center had funding supported by the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program.
“Our state parks and historic sites have been the recipient of several of these grants,” said Rabon, who also serves as Chairman of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund Board of Trustees. “We are focused on making significant impacts on improving our facilities, visitor centers, campgrounds and trails.”
ABOUT THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
The mission of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is to sustain, enhance, protect, and conserve Georgia's natural, historic and cultural resources for present and future generations, while recognizing the importance of promoting the development of commerce and industry that utilize sound environmental practices. This work is conducted by DNR’s five operating divisions which include: Coastal Resources Division; Environmental Protection Division; Law Enforcement Division; State Parks & Historic Sites Division; and Wildlife Resources Division.
ABOUT THE GEORGIA OUTDOOR STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM
The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act (GOSA) was approved by the Georgia General Assembly in 2018 and later overwhelming approved by Georgia voters with 83% support. This is the state’s first dedicated funding mechanism to support parks and trails as well as protect and acquire lands critical to wildlife, clean water, and outdoor recreation across the state of Georgia. Since the program’s establishment in 2019, GOSA has allocated over $97 million of funding to 50 conservation and outdoor recreation projects across Georgia. Grantees have committed more than $175 million to match these grant funds, for a total investment of almost $300 million.
Kim Hatcher, Public Affairs Coordinator, email@example.com, 770-389-7284
Gretchen Greminger, Wormsloe State Historic Site Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 912-353-3023