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Local reservoirs offer Labor Day options

Labor Day unofficially marks the end of summer, but there is still outdoor fun to be had at Clayton County's water reservoirs.

The Clayton County Water Authority's Blalock, Shamrock and J.W. Smith reservoirs will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday, from 7 a.m., to 8 p.m. The Newman Wetlands Center will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 7 a.m., to 7 p.m.

Water officials said the outdoor centers are a great option for families looking for cheap, local fun.

"Pack a lunch and some fishing gear, and head to one of CCWA’s fishing reservoirs," said spokeswoman Suzanne Brown.

There is a $5 daily fee, per car, for Clayton residents, and a $10 daily fee, per car, for nonresidents. The fee is charged at each reservoir, so local families may want to opt for a season pass.

"For Clayton County residents planning several trips to the reservoirs this year, a season pass is a bargain at $30," said Brown. "Non-county residents pay $40 for a season pass. The season pass is good at CCWA reservoirs from March to October."

The Blalock and Shamrock reservoirs are at 2610 Shamrock Road, off of Freeman Road in Jonesboro. The J. W. Smith Reservoir, is at143 Northbridge Road in Hampton.

The Newman Wetlands Center, at 2755 Freeman Road, features a nature trail and picnic area. The center's 1/2 mile trail and picnic areas provide visitors a chance to enjoy nature while learning the importance of preserving wetlands environments and conserving natural resources.

This center is handicapped-accessible and stroller-friendly.

Visitors walking through the wetlands trails have a chance to see some of the many wildlife species that either, stop over during migration, or take advantage of this habitat for nesting or permanent residence, said Brown.

In addition to more than 130 bird species, visitors have seen beaver, river otter, fox, raccoon, muskrat, deer, wild turkey, opossum, mink, and many species of reptiles, insects and amphibians.

Dogs and other pets are not allowed at this facility.

For more information on the Newman Wetlands Center, or any of the reservoirs, call (770) 603-5603, or visit: www.ccwa.us.