Georgia Historical Society to Dedicate New Historical Marker Commemorating Will-A-Way Recreation Area

Staff Report

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

The Georgia Historical Society (GHS), in conjunction with Camp Twin Lakes, will dedicate a new Georgia Historical Marker recognizing Will-A-Way Recreation Area.

Will-A-Way Recreation Area opened inside Fort Yargo State Park as the first comprehensive outdoor recreational facility in the United States designed for people with disabilities. The completion of Will-A-Way predated the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) by nearly 20 years. Today, Will-A-Way is operated by Camp Twin Lakes and provides a space for intentional camp programs for children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and other life challenges.

“The Will-A-Way historical marker tells the important story of creating an accessible recreation area for Georgians with disabilities,” says Elyse Butler, Georgia Historical Society Marker Manager. “The historical marker recognizes Will-A-Way as a model for accessible recreation areas across the nation, and is the first marker addressing disability rights.”

The dedication will take place on Friday, April 22, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at Fort Yargo State Park, 210 S Broad Street, Winder, Georgia 30680. Speakers will include Mark Williams, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Doug Hertz, founder and Chairman of Camp Twin Lakes and Secretary of the Georgia Historical Society Board of Curators; Elyse Butler, Georgia Historical Society Marker Manager; Ashley Henderson, Camp Twin Lakes Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager; Mayor David Maynard, Mayor of Winder, Georgia; Tom Wilkins, representing the Wilkins Family, namesake of the Wilkins Greenway Trail connecting Fort Yargo State Park and the City of Winder; and Jeff Crown, Director of Parks & Sites Division at Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
 
This dedication is free and open to the public. 

For more information about the Will-A-Way Recreation Area historical marker dedication or the Georgia Historical Society marker program, please contact Keith Strigaro, Director of Communications, at 912.651.2125;153 or by email at kstrigaro@georgiahistory.com.