Reed Bingham State Park Manager Wayne “Bud” Fuller recently received the Park Ranger Bravery Award during the Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites annual Managers Conference held at Lake Lanier.
According to Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites, after heavy rainfall in April, the Little River had risen to dangerously high levels. Reed Bingham State Park Manager Bud Fuller received a call from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office letting him know that a visitor reported an overturned vessel, a man was on shore yelling for help, and a woman and small child were holding onto a tree in the middle of flooded waters.
Fuller responded quickly, and with assistance from park employee Tom Daughtrey and Cook County Sheriff Doug Hanks, they rescued the boaters, a young park guest and his grandmother.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources Game Warden Aaron Powell recovered the overturned vessel.
Due to Fuller’s emergency-response preparedness and excellent relationship with local officials, a potentially deadly situation was averted.
Daughtrey, a recent Cook High School graduate and 2022 STAR Student, is attending Georgia Tech.
Also, Reed Bingham State Park was second only to Indian Springs State Park in Flovilla for Most Outstanding Site Operation. Under Manager Katherine Darsey’s leadership, Indian Springs State Park has had an outstanding year. The middle-Georgia park excels with guest services and administrative duties, and staff completed natural-resource projects such as erosion control and invasive-plant management. The park’s lakeside Idlewilde Event Center continues to draw even more guests each year for weddings, reunions, and other gatherings.
Reed Bingham represented Region 5 as a nominee for Outstanding Site Operation in the State of Georgia. Reed Bingham competed among five other parks, some much larger, for the title of Outstanding Site Operation in Georgia. The Georgia State Park System has six regions.
Several Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites employees were honored during their annual Managers Conference held the week of Aug. 11, 2022, in north Georgia. Site managers attended an awards ceremony celebrating those who make more than 60 State Parks and Historic Sites outstanding destinations across Georgia. They also attended training sessions and shared ideas on park operations.
Fuller noted that out of the nine awards presented, four of the recipients were from Region Five (Reed Bingham’s region).