Recreation director to retire after 33 years

Longtime recreation department leader steps down at year end

Columbia County Recreation Director Charlie Beale on Monday announced his retirement effective Dec. 31.

During his 33-year tenure, Beale, 62, has seen the department grow from four baseball fields to its current inventory of major parks, including Blanchard Woods, Patriots and Wildwood. In addition to coping with the county's growth, he said his greatest challenge has been fending off efforts to privatize recreation offerings.

An Augusta native and graduate of Georgia Southern University, Beale worked in recreation in Richmond County and Millen/Jenkins County before moving to Evans to succeed Don Dearing, the department's first director.