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Posts Tagged ‘canoeing cleanup’

Although our arms and shoulders are a bit achy, our skin sun-kissed and crispy, and hands calloused and blistered, paddlers were sad that the last day of our journey on the Chattahoochee River had arrived.fam c

holeThe 15 mile journey today seemed like a breeze after 95 miles of paddling under 6 27 14 muskratour belts over the past 6 days.

Tunnel like tributaries could be seen every so often peeking through the vegetation draped river banks. We caught a muskrat enjoying its breakfast with such intensity that he didn’t even see us sneaking up to him. It’s whiskers and naked tail disappeared without a trace once we were practically upon it. It must have been a delicious meal!jump

The youth group had no trouble sharing their favorite parts of Paddle Georgia ranging from skipping rocks, the thrill of the shoals and rapids, water b (2)to learning how to paddle, seeing owls and other wildlife, and working very hard.waterfall fun

The most beautiful and definitely everyone’s favorite stop of the day was at Hilly Mill Falls, a majestic 40 ft waterfall cascading down into a cool deep swimming hole below.  It was arapidsn amazing and exhilarating feeling to go behind the water fall and look out from under the stream of water at everyone enjoying the pool beyond.

The rapids gave paddlers a thrilling hiatus from the lazy wide rolling river.fish frystand up

As expected, the end of our journey came too soon. To see the emotions pour forth from paddlers as the took their final strokes and drifted into the open arms, high fives, and kisses from loved ones awaiting them brought tears to our eyes.

The bluesy folk sound of the band, Heather Luttrelle and the Possum Den welcomed paddlers to the River’s End Celebration as well as juicy watermelon pfinishrovided by the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and fresh caught fried fish, hush puppies, sweet corn and cole slaw from the Flint Riverkeeper.

This was April Ingle’s last Paddle Georgia as Georgia River Network’s, Executive Director.  kidsJoe Cook gave a sentimental speech explaining their founding of Paddle Georgia together 10 years ago and how April’s unwavering support for going forward with the journey has in turn changed the course of his life and the future of Georgia’s rivers.

We love you April and we will miss you!

Can’t wait for Paddle Georgia 2015 on the Ogeechee River…P1060763

Keep on rollin’ down the river ~

 

 

Gwyneth Moody
Georgia River Network
Community Programs Coordinator

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After the short day on the river yesterday, paddlers were excited to spend a full day today paddling 17 miles on the Chattahoochee through southwest Metro Atlanta and beyond…teachers

The Scholarship Teacher group continued their training with ichthyologist Camm Swift learning how to seine for fish and macro invertebrates. Skills they will take home to their respective schools and teach to their students.

Unfortunately the torrential rains from the previous evening caught some singing bcampers off guard, including the youth group and their tents and contents within were completely soaked. However, you would have never guessed that today – with all of the singing that could be heard down the river.

Dog Creek Reservoir, reached from paddling up a small tributary, was an interesting special tour and a refreshing and relatively cledog aan swimming area for those folks who were wary of taking a dip in the Chattahoochee south of Atlanta.­­

Flowers paiflower bnted the riverbanks  throughout the day’s journey- Swamp Hibiscus, Trumpet Vine, Queen Anne’s Lace – to name a few

Butterflies and dragonflies fluttered from canoe to kayak, looking for a bit of sweet nectar, salts and minerals.

Sheronome lucky paddlers reported seeing beavers and we saw a beautiful Green Heron for the first time obutterflyn the journey.

The sun’s warmth and wide lazy river lulled some to sleep while adrift.

We arrived sooner than anticipated and headed off to our new home at Newnan High school.

Cedar Creek RV & Outdoor Center set up a 17,000 gallon pool on ttug dhe square in downtown Newnan for the famous Canoe Tug-o-War; newnanstreet vendors and non-profits had information booths set up; and a band and DJ entertained the crowd as they boogied down with great enthusiasm.

dancingWhat a fabulous way to end our 5th day on Paddle Georgia!

See y’all tomorrow!

 

keep on rollin’ down the river~

Gwyneth Moody

 

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Leslie Avra's Toes Paddle Georgia 2014 has finally arrived for the four hundred and fifty lucky paddlers who won the lottery to attend this year’s 110 mile journey on the Chattahoochee river through Atlanta, and like Leslie Avra, they are toe-tally ready!P1030329P1030331

Volunteers, staff and Paddle Georgia interns arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed at Lambert High School  to prepare for everyone’s registration en-mass and we can’t thank them enough for their hard work and support… P1030332We couldn’t do it with out them!     H I G H    F I V E!

We are always excited to have a large Paddling workshopnumber of novice paddlers join us every year and to assist in boosting their confidence we offer a paddling workshop, which this year was led by extraordinary paddler Steve Kramer.

The excitement and fervor heightened as the shuttle buses arrived  and people dropped their luggage with yelps of joy as theP1030355y reunited with Paddle Georgia buddies from year’s past.

Not only is this year special because it’s Paddle Georgia’s 10 year anniversary, but also because we are stepping up our sustainability goals a notch by going beyond recycling-  and composting all of our food P1030356waste for the first time, thanks to help from Kevin SP1030333mith with Keep Forsyth County Beautiful.

So exciting!

 

 

The classic Paddle Georgia ‘Tent City’ quickly emerged from the Lambert High playing fieP1030409lds complete with pirate flags and mansion sized abode’s. Paddle Georgian’s don’t mess around when it comes to comfort after a long day paddling.

 

By 8 o’clock the crowd was a buzz with exuberant conversation, as everyone settled in, found friends,  made new ones, and devoured a delicious dinner provided by Satterfields Restaurant & Catering.

Paddle Georgia is not just for the hard-core paddler or the river rat, but inclP1030387udes the young and old, and  people of different abilities and backgrounds.

Paddle Georgia allows everyone to join together as a community of paddlers and become part of a bigger movement of river restoration and protection efforts, achieved through getting to know the intimacies of a river.

You just have to be prepared to get a little dirty, spend 7 days on a beautiful river, learn a lot, and have a whole lot of fun with great people!

Can’t wait for our first day on the Hooch to begin!

Keep on rollin’ down the river,

~Gwyneth Moody

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We have officially reached the half-way point of Paddle Georgia 2013 with 3 DSC_6363days of awesome paddling behind us and 3 more ahead. Everyone really enjoyed their stay at Chehaw with their friendly staff, beautiful grounds and comfortable facilities and we were all sad to leave, but excited about the new digs in Camilla.

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Although everyone seemed to cringe at the mention of a 21 mile paddle – the current was the fastest we’ve had yet and we scooted swiftly along.P1000943

P1000998Playful paddlers, as always we encountered hoola hooping in the morning and bubbles in the afternoon.P1010050

Red Tailed Hawks, Belted P1000653Kingfisher, Bob Whites, Pileated woodpeckers, and Green Heron could be heard and occasionally seen through the canopy that shrouded the winding river.P1010062

The limestone caves along this stretch were beautiful and mysterious with their tight crevices and dangling ferns that formed curtains on the rock walls surrounding the cave mouth.

Twisted, gnarly roots of Sycamore and Cypress trees reached out like fingers and hands holding back the river bank, their knees jutting up out of the water resembling mud castles at the beach.P1000972

And even with the usual swimming, lounging, and jumping from rope swings paddlers completed the trip in record time, and were shuttled to our new home of Mitchell County High School.

And what a better way to end the day than with an awesome street party in Camilla!P1010115 It was great to see everyone boogying down and enjoying themselves so immensely.

Looking forward to another day in South Georgia paradise tomorrow!

Keep on rollin’ down the river,

Gwyneth Moody

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fuller

Robert Fuller finished his 1,500-mile paddling adventure down the Chattahoochee to the Gulf of Mexico and then up the Mobile, Alabama, Coosa and Etowah rivers! Read about it in the news and his blog posts HERE! http://ow.ly/hIZF7

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From Paddle Georgia news, River Spotlight, Upcoming events, and other goodies- Check it out!

Confluence

http://www.garivers.org/files/confluence/jan2013.pdf

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Georgia challenge seeks new paddlers

Posted: January 23, 2013

ImageLast year the Georgia River Network issued a challenge to kayakers and canoeists around the state: Paddle 12 different Georgia rivers in 2012.

Savannahian Gerry Cowart took the challenge seriously. He was not only the first participant to finish, but also this recreational overachiever doubled the goal, keeping up his pace after hitting the dozen mark in June.

“I figured since I love it so much I ought to double the challenge,” he said.

Cowart did, ultimately paddling 24 rivers along the coast and into middle Georgia. He chronicled his paddles on the Georgia River Network website. A banner listing all the rivers and the dates paddled hangs from a balcony at his Landings home.

The challenge didn’t get him out paddling more; he was already an avid kayaker. But it upped his destination diversity.

“It was wonderful to have a reason to travel to a new river,” said Cowart, an architect who’s on the board of the Ogeechee Riverkeeper. “It made me more aware of what’s available around here.”

His favorite new spot might just be the Satilla River, he said.

But the coolest thing he saw all year was closer to home on the Canoochee.

“I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw something swimming across the mouth of a creek,” he said. “It was a big buck. It was the top of its head, the horns and the nose. It hit the shore and jumped out.”

This year’s challenge from the nonprofit Georgia River Network is to take 13 people paddling in 2013 who might not otherwise go on their own. The ultimate goal, said executive director April Ingle, is to promote the use of the Georgia water trails website, which her organization curates. (Find it at http://garivers.org/gwtc/.)

“We wanted to create a challenge to get people to go out. It’s as much about events and outings (as trails),” Ingle said. “We try to publicize places around the state that give people the opportunity to paddle.”

http://savannahnow.com/news/2013-01-23/georgia-challenge-seeks-new-paddlers#.UQAHIuiH8y6

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January 2013

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2013 Monthly Photo Showcase and GRN Staff Pick of the Month

GRN is excited to announce our ‘2013 Monthly Photo Showcase and GRN Staff Pick of the Month’. Each month we will have a different theme and invite you to send us a photo that youIMG_0861 2 think best represents the topic of the month.We will showcase everyone’s photos on our website and social media and one photo per month will receive the illustrious title of ‘GRN Staff Pick of the Month’ and the chosen photo’s author will receive a surprise token of gratitude.We will accept photo entries up until the third week of each month and announce the GRN staff pick and showcase all photo submissions the last week of each month.

IMG_2502January’s theme is:

* * * Favorite photo of 2012 * * *

So get those cameras poised and creative photo juices flowing and submit your January photo entry NOW to Gwyneth@garivers.org

Here is a sneak peek of the 2013 Monthly Themes:

  • January– Favorite photo of 2012
  • February– The love boat paddlers photo
  • March– Photo of a river problem that needs to be fixed
  • April– Best ‘Weekend For Rivers’ photo
  • May– Photo of creative way(s) of conserving water/How do you conserve water?
  • June– River wildlife tires 5 (2)photo
  • July– Favorite 2013 Paddle Georgia photo
  • August– Funniest paddling photo
  • September– Summer water fun with pet(s) photo
  • October– Protecting and cleaning up rivers photo
  • November– Fabulous fall colors photo
  • December– The gift of water photo
Georgia River Network
126 South Milledge Ave. Suite E3, Athens, GA 30605
706-549-4508
http://www.garivers.org
Become a Member Today – Join

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January 2013

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Congrats to 2012 Finishers! ~ 2013 Challenge is up!

Greetings 12 in 2012 Challengers!12th river - 12 fingers1Over 60 people took on our challenge to paddle 12 different Georgia rivers in 2012. And even though not everyone completed 12 rivers, everyone made a valiant effort and got out and enlt challenge tybee slough (2)joyed Georgia’s rivers.We are extremely proud of the 15 paddlers who did successfully complete the challenge and especially of those who went above and beyond…

One of those overachievers was Gerry Cowart who not only was the first to complete his 12 rivers, ACamp Dog1he went on to paddle 24 rivers by the end of 2012. Another avid paddler who ultimately paddled 20 rivers was Glen Smith, who went on a total of 50+ paddle trips during the year.Suzi Parron

Every paddler has their own unique experience when out on the water, which is why we asked challengers to submit their photos and stories. We loved following Mary Siceloff and Liz Williams’ blog about two close friends doing theA.Hughes challenge together. It was a true delight to hear about Suzi Parron’s strong passion for paddling that even a boot on her foot couldn’t keep her off the river. Bobby Marie made us proud with the photos capturing the immense amount of trash he picked up. It was inspiring to see the love bird couples Kyle & Andrea Camp and Lonny & Rhonda Amicalola Ledges 1 (2)Martin accomplishing the challenge together. Outdoor enthusiast, Patrick Phelps, persevered even when the temperatures started dropping and he was ready to move on to his other love – mountain biking. Photographer, Anne Ledbetter, captured some absolutely amazing photos on her paddling trips. We were excited to see Allison Hughes of GA Adopt-A-Stream share photos of her awesome adventures on both black and whitewater, too! And last but not least – our very own Joe Cook and April Ingle led by example and represented our Paddle GA/Georgia River Network team well when they paddled 12+ rivers each.

Millerlake and creek (2) 2So, kudos to each of the 12 in 2012 finishers! They are an inspiration to all of us here at Georgia River Network and beyond. We trust it was a fun challenge.

CONGRATS to Patrick Phelps the lucky winner of a FULL Weekend for Rivers Conference and Party Pass! And for those of y’all who have never attended this AWESOME experience don’t miss out!

Are y’all ready for the 2013 Georgia River Challenge?!

~ Take 13 People Paddling in 2013 ~

Share the joy of paddling Georgia’s rivers with friends and family who otherwise would not go on their own!

Georgia River Network is encouraging river lovers to celebrate Georgia’s rivers – familyrapidsfrom wild places to urban waterways – by taking 13 people paddling in 2013 who might not otherwise go on their own. Set your New Year’s resolution to get outside, get active and get to know your home state with friends and family. Georgia’s rivers offer a variety of experiences including family friendly afternoon paddles, riverside hikes, exciting whitewater and blackwater experiences.IMG_3173
The goal of this year’s ‘Take 13 People Paddling in 2013’ challenge is to promote Georgia’s growing water trail movement and send more people to the Georgia Water Trails Website to identify water trails to paddle, locate outfitters, find organized paddling trips or plan their own trip with friends and family who have little to know paddling experience.
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To join the list of paddlers participating, just send an email to gwyneth@garivers.org with your name and address to sign up.

When you have successfully completed the challenge by taking 13 people paddling on Georgia’s rivers, who otherwise would not go on their own, send in documentation about your trip including photos, stories, videos and/or poems about the rivers you explored and with whom. Send to gwyneth@garivers.org or to Georgia River Network, 126 South Milledge Ave. Suite E3, Athens, GA 30605. GRN will send you a sticker for your boat.
GRN reserves the right to reprint and reuse any documentation submitted. Georgia River Network’s Water Trails Website can help you find outfitters, events, organized trips, resources and a list of Georgia Water Trails to plan your own adventure.

Keep on rollin’ on the river….

Gwyneth Moody
Community Programs Coordinator
gwyneth@garivers.org
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Georgia River Network
126 South Milledge Ave. Suite E3, Athens, GA 30605
706-549-4508
http://www.garivers.org
Become a Member Today – Join

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By Maria Saporta

The Nature Conservancy — Georgia unveiled a New Year’s present Thursday when it announced that it has purchased 6,277 acres along the Altamaha River in Wayne County.

boyles-island-1500x897-300x179

The tract, known as Boyles Island, has been on the Nature Conservancy’s “wish list” for decades, according to the press release issued by conservation organization.

“I grew up in this area and actually learned to shoot a shotgun on Boyles Island at the tender age of eight, so I am personally proud of this land protection success,” said Mark Abner, director for the Nature Conservancy in Georgia. “A multi-partner effort made this transaction possible, and we are grateful to all the supporters who continue to help the Conservancy realize our vision on the Altamaha River and Georgia coast.”

Boyles Island spans 8.7 miles of the Altamaha River and features an extensive floodplain forest of oak-hickory bottomland and cypress-tupelo swamp, with isolated ridges of live oak and spruce pine, as well as creeks, sloughs and oxbow lakes.

This tract adjoins more than 106,000 acres of land that is already protected, filling a gap on the west side of a more than 40-mile long corridor that protects habitat along the Altamaha River. The contiguous corridor helps ensure the viability of many important species, including Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, prized recreational and commercial fisheries from the river channel to the saltwater coast; and bird life such as the rare swallow-tailed kite and numerous other migratory birds.

Protected land along the river helps the Georgia coast as well, improving water quality before it reaches the estuary and allowing natural, seasonal variations in water quantity and temperature to endure.

The Nature Conservancy is purchasing the land from Rayonier for $8 million. The Conservancy will also sell a restrictive easement, valued at $3.1 million, to the U.S. Marine Corps through the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI) program, which was created by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and is used to create land-use buffers between communities and military activity that can also protect habitat and provide recreational lands.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will purchase the land for $4 million from the Nature Conservancy in two phases over the next year, ultimately creating an extension of the Penholoway Swamp Wildlife Management Area, which is open to the public for recreation.

Funds to purchase the land came from a variety of sources. The transaction offered an opportunity for the Nature Conservancy to use the Georgia Land Conservation Program’s Revolving Loan Fund, a low-interest loan program designed to help protect high-priority conservation lands administered by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority.

DNR has assembled funding from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Wetland grant, Knobloch Family Foundation grant, and state bond funds for its two-phase acquisition from the Conservancy. Together with the Marine Corps easement purchase, these funds will offset all but about $1 million of the purchase price, which the Conservancy is raising from private sources.

“Thanks to the many partners and supporters who worked tirelessly on this project, the citizens of Georgia will have new lands for outdoor recreation and Boyles Island will be preserved for generations to come,” said Mark Williams, DNR commissioner.

The Boyles Island tract has a long history as a private working forest, dating back to at least the 1930s when it was owned by Savannah River Lumber Company. For the past 40 years it has been owned and managed by Rayonier, which has periodically harvested hardwood timber while relying on its highly-fertile flood-nourished soils and natural revegetation patterns to sustain such activity.

“Boyles Island is an ecological treasure,” said Paul Boynton, chairman, president and CEO of Rayonier. “Its diversity of habitat and critical importance to migratory birds, together with its location connecting other public conservation lands, make it extremely unique. We are delighted to again work with the U.S. Department of Defense, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Nature Conservancy to successfully protect a special property. This transaction takes Rayonier’s conservation land program to well over 150,000 acres – more than 30,000 acres located in southeast Georgia.”

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