Naylor Boat Ramp, Water Trails, and Paddle Georgia: WWALS to Lowndes County Commission 2019-05-13

Thanks and invitations from WWALS to the Lowndes County Commission, delivered in a letter via email and on paper Monday morning and in Citizens Wishing To Be Heard Tuesday evening.

WWALS to Lowndes County Commission 2019-05-14

I thanked

I invited the Commissioners to pass Water Trail resolutions (see below).

And I invited them to Paddle Georgia and the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

Letter

See also the PDF.

[Naylor Boat Ramp, ARWT, Paddle Georgia]
Naylor Boat Ramp, ARWT, Paddle Georgia

May 13, 2019

To: Lowndes County Commission and Staff

Re: Naylor Boat Ramp, Water Trails, and Paddle Georgia

Chairman Slaughter et al.,

Naylor Boat Ramp framed Congratulations on getting to the final work on the Naylor Boat Ramp. http://wwals.net/?p=49252 Thanks especially to Project Manager Chad McLeod for sticking to it for all these years since WWALS requested an Alapaha River Park back in February 2013 http://wwals.net/?p=296 and the voters of Lowndes County approved the boat ramp on the November 2013 SPLOST VII ballot. And thanks to Commissioners Joyce Evans and Demarcus Marshall, in whose districts Naylor Boat Ramp is, as well as to the rest of the Commissioners and staff. As discussed a year ago, I look forward to the ribbon cutting.

Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT)

ARWT Some years ago, Chairman Slaughter told me that he preferred to wait to pass a resolution in support of the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT) until the Naylor Boat Ramp was completed and there was a ribbon cutting ceremony. Please find attached an updated ARWT resolution that mentions the completion of the Naylor Boat Ramp. Please also note that meanwhile similar resolutions have been passed for the ARWT by Atkinson County, Lanier County, the City of Valdosta, and Hamilton County, Florida. The ARWT also has letters of support from the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority, Tourism Authority, and Chamber of Commerce. http://wwals.net/maps/alapaha-water-trail/#Sponsor

Paddle Georgia

[Paddle Georgia 2019] As you are no doubt aware from the stories in the Valdosta Daily Times on March 14, 2019, and May 7, 2019, Paddle Georgia is bringing several hundred paddlers down the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers along Lowndes County and onwards in Florida on the Suwannee River, for a week starting June 15, 2019.

I would like to invite each of you to the VIP tent at the Little River Confluence on Saturday morning, June 15, where there will be refreshments as they paddle by. WWALS and Helen Tapp of the landowners, Land Between the Rivers, will be there to talk about water trails and the site of historic Troupville. Maybe the Chairman or Commissioners would like to come help see the paddlers off down the river.

I would also like to invite all of you to join us on the river on Professionals Day, Monday, June 17, 2019, as we paddle from Nankin Boat Ramp past McIntyre Spring and Arnold Springs and State Line Shoals into Florida. Elected officials can register at no charge; for others it will be $30. https://garivers.org/paddle-georgia/registration/

[WLRWT, Songwriting, Boomerang]
WLRWT, Songwriting, Boomerang

Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT)

WLRWT Thanks again to Public Works Director Robin Cumbus and County Manager Joe Pritchard for agreeing to place pairs of road signs at landings on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) in Lowndes County. Those eleven WLRWT landings in Lowndes County are more than half of the nineteen WLRWT landings in Georgia, and almost half of all twenty-four landings on the WLRWT in Georgia and Florida, as mentioned in the updated WLRWT resolution which is attached. That resolution also now mentions many of those road signs will be placed before Paddle Georgia brings those several hundred paddlers to Lowndes County.

Meanwhile, the WLRWT has resolutions of support from Brooks County, and the cities of Adel, Hahira, and Valdosta, as well as a letter from the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority, and financial support from the Valdosta-Lowndes County Tourism Authority. http://wwals.net/maps/withlacoochee-river-water-trail/#Sponsor

Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Like last year, I invite you all to come to the Second Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Saturday, August 24, 2019, from 1-4 PM. Like last year, it will be at the Salty Snapper. This year we already have a top-tier sponsor, Georgia Beer Company. Our winner from last year, Laura D’Alisera, will play both at this year’s Songwriting Contest, and at the Final Feast of Paddle Georgia, which we are also catering with catfish, Friday, June 21, 2019, at Christian Village in Dowling Park, FL. You are invited. http://www.wwals.net/pictures/2019-08-24–suwannee-riverkeeper-songwriting-contest/

WWALS Boomerang paddle race [Flyer]

Back again for its second year, the WWALS Boomerang will conduct paddlers from Georgia into Florida and back, starting and ending at State Line Boat Ramp, on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Maybe the Chairman or Commissioners would like to come welcome the winners back to Lowndes County and Georgia.

John S. Quarterman,
Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
229-242-0102
contact@suwanneeriverkeeper.org
WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.
850-290-2350
wwalswatershed@gmail.com
PO Box 88, Hahira, GA 31632

Attachments: draft resolutions supporting the

  • Alapaha River Water Trail
  • Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail

Resolutions

Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT) Resolution

See also the PDF.

[WHEREAS]
WHEREAS

A RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT
THE ALAPAHA RIVER WATER TRAIL (ARWT)
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOWNDES, GEORGIA DRAFT of May 12, 2019

WHEREAS, the Alapaha River flows across the eastern boundary of Lowndes County from north to south; and

WHEREAS, the Alapaha River is still “unspoiled, wild, and scenic” as depicted in the August 1979 Soil Survey of Lowndes County, Georgia, being described in various guidebooks as “Jungle-like.” “luxurious,” with “A+” scenery of “exotic vegetation” and “dark reddish-brown waters.” with abundant wildlife; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of Lowndes County value the natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities afforded by the Alapaha River and its watershed such as fishing, swimming, boating, and birding; and

WHEREAS, the citizens value the Alapaha River for water quality and habitat protection; and

WHEREAS, half of the County is in the Alapaha River Watershed, with the divide between the Alapaha and Withlacoochee River watersheds running roughly down Bemiss Road in the north part of the county and I-75 in the south part; and

WHEREAS, the Alapaha River watershed also includes many lakes and ponds such as Grand Bay that can be included in maps, brochures, and guides for the Alapaha River Water Trail; and

WHEREAS, existing hiking and biking trails can be linked to the Water Trail to encourage more multi-purpose participation; and

WHEREAS, WWALS holds frequent paddle and hiking outings on the rivers, creeks, and lakes, and every outing is a cleanup; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of Lowndes County have indicated their support for the water trail at Lowndes County Commission meetings and outings at Grand Bay and on the Alapaha River; and

WHEREAS, the economy of the County will benefit from visitors to the Water Trail, and a Water Trail is a feature of quality of life that is attractive to businesses and employees and so may contribute to the economic development of the county; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of Atkinson, Berrien, Lanier, Lowndes, and Echols Counties, Georgia, and Hamilton County, Florida all share in this valuable resource and have provided for access to the Alapaha River and to lakes and other streams in its watershed; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of Lowndes County and visitors from throughout the State of Georgia and the United States have for more than twenty (20) years regularly and openly enjoyed and exercised a right of passage by boat on the Alapaha River as it travels through Lowndes County and along its boundaries, thereby establishing a public easement of passage on the river; and

WHEREAS, this water trail is consistent with the comprehensive land use plan of Lowndes County regarding:

  • II. Issues and Opportunities, 3. Community Wellness, Opportunities:
    • “Greater promotion of environmental clean-up, through organizations and programs such as Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB), WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS), Adopt-a-Highway, Adopt-a-Stream, Rivers Alive, and the school systems, will address litter and pollution challenges. ”
  • V. Community Policies, 3. Wellness:
    • “3.4.3. An active, healthy lifestyle should be promoted through livable community urban design and development patterns, including hiking, running, and biking trails connecting urban and rural areas with parks and with water trails along our creeks and rivers.”
    • In 6. Natural Resources, Opportunities: “Promote education and awareness of water resources, importance of quality and quantity of water, historical resources, blueways, and boat landing locations (e.g. on the Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers).”
  • V. Community Policies, 5. Land Use:
    • “5.3.4. Development patterns should be promoted that encourage walkability and integrate green spaces as well as both passive and active recreational areas, including hiking, running, and biking trails connected to parks and to water trails along the creeks and rivers.”
  • As well as other passages; and

WHEREAS, many parks in Lowndes County are in the Alapaha River watershed, including Naylor Community Park and Riley-Ledford Park near Grand Bay Creek, Eastwind Park and Jaycee Shack Park at the top of Knights Creek, Chitty Park next to Mud Swamp Creek, Lovett Park, Greer Park, Payton Park, Scott Park, and Harrington Park in the Mud Swamp Creek watershed, including Olympic Park, Smith Park, and Fellowship Park only a few blocks from the Lowndes County Administration Building, and Library Park and South Lowndes Recreation Complex in Lake Park; and

WHEREAS, the County has repeatedly supported parks and recreation with SPLOST and other funding, including approval by the voters of the County of the use of tax funds for the Naylor Boat Ramp through the 2013 SPLOST VII referendum; and

WHEREAS, Lowndes County has purchased land for a park at US 84 to provide public access to the Alapaha River with a Naylor Boat Ramp; and

WHEREAS, Lowndes County Public Works and the County Manager have agreed to make and place a pair of signs on US 84 directing people to the Naylor Boat Ramp; and

WHEREAS, Lowndes County Engineering has completed building the Naylor Boat Ramp;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of Lowndes County, Georgia:

Section 1: The concept of the Alapaha River Water Trail as outlined by the website http:/wwals.net/maps/alapaha-water-trail/​ is approved and hereby incorporated by reference; and

Section 2:That the public easement of passage established by more than twenty (20) years of regular and open travel by boat on the Alapaha River in and along the boundaries of Lowndes County is hereby recognized and accepted by the Chairman and Commissioners on behalf of the citizens of Lowndes County, and visitors from throughout the State of Georgia and the United States; and

Section 3: That this Resolution shall take effect immediately upon its adoption; and

Section 4: That we hereby direct each department in the County to work individually, together, and with other governments and organizations to support and implement the water trail.

PASSED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE COUNTY OF LOWNDES, GEORGIA, this _____day of ______________ 2019.

By:


Attest:


Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) Resolution

See also the PDF.

[WHEREAS]
WHEREAS

A RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT
THE WITHLACOOCHEE AND LITTLE RIVER WATER TRAIL (WLRWT)
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOWNDES, GEORGIA DRAFT of May 12, 2019

WHEREAS, the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers form the western boundary of Lowndes County and the Withlacoochee River runs through the northern half of the county; and

WHEREAS, the Little River and the Withlacoochee River are described in various guidebooks as “Intimate, shaded in its northern reaches) mysterious in its beauty”, with abundant wildlife, limestone shoals, and sandbars; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of Lowndes County value the natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities afforded by the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers and their watersheds such as fishing, swimming, boating, and birding; and

WHEREAS, Lowndes County has convenient boating and fishing access at two Little River public landings at Folsom Bridge (GA 122) and Troupeville (GA 133), and nine Withlacoochee River landings at Hagan Bridge (GA 122), Franklinville, Staten Road, Langdale Park Boat Ramp, Sugar Creek Landing off of Gornto Road, US 84, Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Nankin Boat Ramp, and State Line Boat Ramp (GA 31); and

WHEREAS, those eleven WLRWT landings in Lowndes County are more than half of the nineteen WLRWT landings in Georgia, and almost half of all twenty-four landings on the WLRWT in Georgia and Florida; and

WHEREAS, half of the County is in the Withlacoochee or Little River Watersheds, with the divide between the Alapaha and Withlacoochee River watersheds running roughly down Bemiss Road in the north part of the county and I-75 in the south part; and

WHEREAS, the citizens value the Withlacoochee and Little Rivers for water quality and habitat protection; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of the County will greatly benefit from the recreational and natural experiences provided by a water trail or blueway; and

WHEREAS, the Little and Withlacoochee River watersheds also include creeks, lakes, ponds, swamps, and wetlands that can be included in maps, brochures, and guides for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail, many of them within Lowndes County, including Franks Creek, Twin Creek, Hutchinson’s Mill Creek, Cat Creek, Cherry Creek, Three Mile Branch, Stillhouse Creek, Two Mile Branch, One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek, Hightower Creek, Tiger Creek, Redland Creek, Clyatt Mill Creek, Bevel Creek, and Jumping Gully Creek; and

WHEREAS, many parks in Lowndes County are in the Little River watershed, including North Lowndes Park in Hahira, Snake Nation Park, and Troupville Landing (GA 133), and many more parks are in the Withlacoochee River watershed, including Langdale Park (US 84), Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Nankin Boat Ramp, and State Line Boat Ramp (GA 31) on the Withlacoochee River, Freedom Park on Cherry Creek, McKey Park on Two Mile Branch, Drexel Park, Vallotton Youth Complex, and the Senior Center on One Mile Branch, Bland Park on Sugar Creek, John W. Saunders Memorial Park with historic Barber Spring near Browns Canal, and Clyattville Community Park and Otis Blackburn Community Park near Clyatt Mill Creek; and WWALS to Lowndes County Page 1 of 3 Re: WLRWT resolution Draft of 2019-05-12

WHEREAS, this water trail is consistent with the comprehensive land use plan of Lowndes County regarding:

  • II. Issues and Opportunities, 3. Community Wellness, Opportunities:
    • “Greater promotion of environmental clean-up, through organizations and programs such as Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB), WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS), Adopt-a-Highway, Adopt-a-Stream, Rivers Alive, and the school systems, will address litter and pollution challenges. ”
  • V. Community Policies, 3. Wellness:
    • “3.4.3. An active, healthy lifestyle should be promoted through livable community urban design and development patterns, including hiking, running, and biking trails connecting urban and rural areas with parks and with water trails along our creeks and rivers.”
    • In 6. Natural Resources, Opportunities: “Promote education and awareness of water resources, importance of quality and quantity of water, historical resources, blueways, and boat landing locations (e.g. on the Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers).”
  • V. Community Policies, 5. Land Use:
    • “5.3.4. Development patterns should be promoted that encourage walkability and integrate green spaces as well as both passive and active recreational areas, including hiking, running, and biking trails connected to parks and to water trails along the creeks and rivers.”
  • As well as other passages; and

WHEREAS, WWALS holds frequent paddle and hiking outings on the rivers, and every outing is a cleanup; and

WHEREAS, the economy of the County will benefit from visitors to the Water Trail, and a Water Trail is a feature of quality of life that is attractive to businesses and employees and so may contribute to the economic development of the county; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of Lowndes County and visitors from throughout the State of Georgia and the United States have for more than twenty (20) years regularly and openly enjoyed and exercised a right of passage by boat on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers as they travel past and through Lowndes County, thereby establishing a public easement of passage on the river; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of Colquitt, Brooks, Cook, Berrien, and Lowndes Counties, Georgia, as well as Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida, all share in this valuable resource and most have provided for access to one or both of the Withlacoochee or Little Rivers and to other streams or waterbodies in its watershed; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of Lowndes County have indicated their support for the water trail at outings on One Mile Branch, the Withlacoochee River, and the Little River, as well as at Lowndes County Commission meetings; and

WHEREAS, the County has repeatedly supported parks and recreation with funding; and

WHEREAS, Lowndes County Public Works and the Lowndes County Manager have agreed to make a pair of directional signs to go on each road leading to one of those WLRWT landings in Lowndes County; and

WHEREAS, many of those road signs placed by Public Works will be in place before Paddle Georgia bring several hundred paddlers to WLRWT landings in Lowndes County;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of County Commissioners of Lowndes County, Georgia;

Section 1: The concept of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail as outlined by the website http://www.wwals.net/maps/withlacoochee-river-water-trail/ is approved and hereby incorporated by reference; and

Section 2: That the public easement of passage established by more than twenty (20) years of regular and open travel by boat on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers past and through Lowndes County is hereby recognized and accepted by the Commissioners on behalf of the citizens of Lowndes County, and visitors from throughout the State of Georgia and the United States; and

Section 3: That this Resolution shall take effect immediately upon its adoption; and

Section 4: That we hereby direct each department in the County to work individually, together, and with other governments and organizations to support and implement the water trail.

PASSED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF LOWNDES COUNTY, GEORGIA, this _____day of ______________ 2019.

By:


Attest:


 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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