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Park Pass Program

 

By Kathy Pillatzki
Assistant Director
Henry County Library System

  For several years now, Georgia public libraries have partnered with other state agencies and non-profits to provide family passes to area attractions. These passes can be checked out with your library card, and include Georgia State Parks, Zoo Atlanta, and the Go Fish Education Center.

  This year we’re adding a newcomer, the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. The “Passport to Puppetry” provides free admission for up to four people to the center’s museum, a value of up to $33. Items on display in the museum include antique puppets, puppets from around the world, and a special exhibit dedicated to Jim Henson and his Muppets. 

  If you choose to attend a performance or a puppet-making workshop on the same day as your museum visit, you can purchase admission to those events at a 25% discount. More information, including hours, show times and directions can be found at www.puppet.org.

  Since 2008, public libraries throughout the state have partnered with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to make Park Pass kits available at no cost to library borrowers. Each kit contains a Park Pass, allowing the holder to park free at any Georgia state park, and a family Historic Sites Visitors Pass, good for free admission for up to four people. A copy of the Guide to Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites features descriptions, photos, maps and directions. 

  Last year Georgia libraries expanded our partnership with the DNR by adding access to the Go Fish Education Center in Perry. A family pass can be checked out that provides admission for up to six family members, a savings of up to $30. The center features freshwater aquariums, live alligator and turtle exhibits, fishing and boating simulators, a stocked fishing pond, nature trail, and more. The center is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only.

  One of the most popular items in the library for the past few years has been the Zoo Pass. This works a bit differently from our other pass programs. Each library has a copy of the Zoo Atlanta DVD, “Animal Explorers”. To receive your Zoo Pass, check out the DVD from your library, watch it with your family, and when you return it you’ll receive a pass for two adults and two children to Zoo Atlanta. The pass must be used within one week of issue, and is limited to one per household per year. (Tip: it pays to watch the weather report and time your check-out of the DVD accordingly!)

  Georgia currently ranks first in the number of partnerships between public libraries and other public and private agencies. The Zoo Pass DVD alone circulates over 20,000 times per year statewide, and Zoo Atlanta attendance is up 29% since the partnership with Georgia libraries began. It is estimated that the partnerships have saved Georgians six million dollars in direct expenditures.

  So if you’re looking for something old, something new, or just something interesting to do, visit your nearest public library for information and a free pass to a new adventure.

 

 

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