We are honored you are visiting our website. Please allow us to introduce ourselves. Friends of Camp McDonald Park is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2010 and made up of individuals at every level of Cobb County Society. We have worked closely with Cobb County Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs Department and completed the Master Plan for Camp McDonald Park. The Master Plan components have been designed to provide a place of meetings and celebrations, teachings and reunions, relaxation and moments of ease in the center of downtown Kennesaw.
The park site is 7 ½ acres located across from Kennesaw City Hall and adjacent to the Parking Deck and The City of Kennesaw’s historic cemetery. A multi faceted history of the area includes the site being a regional meeting point for the Cherokee Indian Tribe and later serving as Camp McDonald. The Camp was the largest military training facility in the State of Georgia during the Civil War and was once approximately 60 acres. Camp McDonald was situated around a water supply adequate for training an army with cavalry.
Big Shanty Spring still flows just behind City Hall and into an unnamed tributary at the park site. This tributary begins quite a journey here and continues to Butler Creek then to Lake Acworth then to Lake Allatoona and then into the Etowah River. These waters are within the Coosa River Basin, North America’s most biologically diverse River Basin. Today the site provides greenspace, natural habitats for wildlife and drainage to the surrounding community.
Our mission is to protect, preserve and interpret the history of this special ground. Friends make being a Volunteer organization possible and help us leave a legacy to future generations. We are excited to have your interest and participation.
- Accepted Proclamation issued by The City of Kennesaw’s Mayor and Council declaring June 11th of each year Camp McDonald Day.
- Appealed to elected officials to name Camp McDonald Park.
- Embraced Coosa River Basin Initiative's desire to facilitate a Stream Restoration Project.
- Hosted Civil War History of Camp McDonald lecture given by Michael K. Shaffer.
- Hosted Clean Up of Camp McDonald Park property during October, 2012.
- Hosted Coosa River Basin Initiative’s Educational Presentation for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia.
- Logged 1,596 Volunteer hours to date!
- One of 100 finalists competing for $25,000 in the This Place Matters Community Challenge from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
- Participated in 'A Day of Remembering' and 'Wreaths Across America' at Old Marietta Confederate Cemetery.
- Planted 30 Native Azaleas at the park site of the following varieties: Admiral Semmes, Colonel Mosby, Emma Samson, Jeb Stuart, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
- Previewed Camp McDonald Park property during 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Kennesaw Big Shanty Festival.
- Raised funding of $5,950.00 for Camp McDonald Park Master Plan.
- Reached out to the Community with “How to Make a Campaign Poster Birdhouse” class
- Sponsored “Come Inside for the Outside” on Earth Day 2014
- Sponsored Historic Kennesaw Photo Contest
- Sponsored Naming Contests for the Resident Great Horned Owl and the Snapping Turtle
- Worked with Kennesaw State University Community Partnership Writing Group.
Michael K. Shaffer
Friends of Camp McDonald Park Civil War Consultant
Michael is a Civil War historian, newspaper columnist, and author of 'Washington County, Virginia in the Civil War.' He remains a member of the Society of Civil War Historians, Historians of the Civil War Western Theater, Georgia Association of Historians, and serves on the boards of the Civil War Round Table of Cobb County and the River Line Historic Area. In addition, he assists the Friends of Camp McDonald as a Civil War consultant.
Aerial View of Camp McDonald Park