FORT STEWART, Ga. Aca,!" If you haven\'t been to the Holbrook Outdoor Recreation Area lately, you're missing something special. It is not the Holbrook you used to know.

Soon, you'll be able to visit and see all the changes at the "new" Holbrook.

Extensive improvements, scheduled to be completed this month on the north shore side include:
Aca,!Ac The addition of three small and one large picnic pavilions, which are screened, lighted and have ceiling fans.
Aca,!Ac The creation of two new play areas to give children a place to safely climb, slide and have fun with other children.
Aca,!Ac The addition of a sand volleyball court and a basketball court.
Aca,!Ac The addition of a fishing pier and boat dock where rental paddle boats, kayaks and canoes are available.
Aca,!Ac The addition of restroom facilities.
Aca,!Ac Additional paved parking.
Aca,!Ac The addition of a walking trail surrounding the entire area.

The improvements at the Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate facility don't end there.

The Equipment Checkout/Outdoor Recreation Facility has also been extensively renovated and has a totally new look that will include a display area, additional classroom space, a wraparound porch with rockers, and more space for equipment storage and repair.

"The Outdoor Recreation Facility will act as a launching point for Soldiers and their Families to engage in all the recreation opportunities afforded them while stationed in southeast Georgia," said Susan Chipple, Outdoor Recreation Supervisor and Recreation Specialist. "The facility renovation has afforded the staff an exciting atmosphere where Soldiers and Families can choose to participate in outdoor recreation activities and a better flow for service." With the expanded classroom, she said.

Aca,!A"We plan to offer exposure for both adults and youth to a variety of outdoor recreation activities through classes and demonstrations," she said of the expanded classroom. "Some examples of classes that will be offered are kite boarding, kayaking, canoeing, safe boating, hunter safety, plant and animal identification, outdoor cooking, camping and fishing."

Chipple said equipment will be available for checkout at the Outdoor Recreation Facility to support all types of outdoor recreation activities, including fishing, camping, water skiing and tubing, boating, wind surfing, kayaking, canoeing and biking.

She said the new, large pavilion on the north shore side will comfortably hold about 160 people and can accommodate large unit functions or Family gatherings.

Aca,!A"The three, smaller-sized pavilions have the same amenities as the large one and are ideal for smaller type gatherings,Aca,!A? she said, adding that all can be reserved for a nominal fee.

Chipple said construction of a high adventure paintball complex is in the works, with up to 10 playing fields each offering unique game scenarios.

Aca,!A"Unfortunately, we may not have the paintball complex completed prior to the next Soldier deployment," she said. "But wanting to provide Soldiers a place to play now, the staff created two interim fields near the Skeet and Trap Range. Here, field referees execute different scenarios offering exciting play."

The south shore offers an additional picnic area with two covered picnic shelters, playground units, a large fishing pier and a full service campground.

All of the different facilities are connected by walking and biking paths. Bikes can be rented at the Outdoor Recreation Facility

Want To Know More'

The new Holbrook facilities are scheduled to be completed this month.

After the opening, the best way to learn about the facilities, programs and activities at Holbrook Outdoor Recreation Area is to drive the five miles down highway 144E and turn at the Holbrook Outdoor Recreation Area entrance. Facility Manager Cathy Hughes and staff will be happy to give you the grand tour, but if you donAca,!a,,ct have time, give them a call at 435-8205 or 435-8209 for the Outdoor Recreation Facility or 435-8219 for the Skeet and Trap Range. Check the upcoming MWR monthly events calendar and Marne TV for more information.