Volunteer of the Month

We have hundreds of volunteers that have shared their time, heart and expertise to our organization through many many hours, sometimes through blood, sweat, and tears too.  Without our volunteers, our park and our programming would not be what it is today.  We wish we could give back to them as much as they give to us. 

One way we would like to show our gratitude is by putting the spotlight on a volunteer each month.  This person just stood out to us and we would like to recognize him or her.

Interested in Volunteering?

This month we want to recognize:


Volunteer of the Month

George Vallee


I was born in Augusta. We moved to Vidalia when I was seven. That’s where I found my love for the outdoors. We moved to Mableton, GA, metro Atlanta, when I started the 9th grade. It was a real culture shock for this naïve country boy. I stayed in the metro Atlanta area for the next thirty three years with the largest part of that in Sugar Hill, GA. I helped raise an awesome son and have two of the best grandsons. I worked for Fulton County Government as an HVAC systems and building automation specialist for twenty five years. I retired in 2005 and became a live in caregiver. In 2013 I moved back to Augusta to live with my dad. We are best friends and you will hardly ever see me without him.

I started visiting Phinizy Swamp in 1992. We were celebrating Christmas at my parents and looking for a place to take a walk. We had heard about the boardwalks and decided to try it out. Yes, it was love at first sight. It became the only place we went for walks when we visited.

Over the years I have volunteered for many events and organizations. One of the most rewarding for me is the Special Olympics. Some of my best memories have come as a volunteer driver for the ATP tennis tournaments. After moving back to Augusta I had only volunteered for a couple of sporting events and I wanted to do something more. I was taking the dogs for a walk at Phinizy when I decided to become a member. It was a Sunday and I thought no one would be there but I tried the office anyway. That’s when I met Heather. It took her no time at all to have me hooked as a volunteer. It’s been four years now and I only wish I had more time to spend there.

I like the full moon hikes, the swamp is really cool at night, but I participated for the first time this year in the Halloween campout…WOOHOO much fun!!! My big event is Earth Day. It’s hard work to get ready but feels great to see the many visitors, especially the kids, having a fun, educational time.

Phinizy is a great place to visit to see a wide variety of wildlife and plants. Whether you’re looking for a short walk, a long bike ride, or something in between you can find it there. Beauty is all around but if you have the time make a trip out to the river scar, it is worth it.

If you have a couple of extra hours a month or week and you’re looking for something fun and rewarding to do come volunteer with us. There are many things to help with throughout the year. Some as easy as folding a shirt or tailing a hiking group, no experience needed, up to leading hikes or clearing trails. It makes me feel good to know I’m helping an organization that is here to help our future by educating our children and adults about the earth.