Category Archives: PR

Press Release

Eighth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race 2020-04-25

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Race or paddle, fun for the whole family: the Eighth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race

Adel, Georgia, February 18, 2020 — You could win in any of a dozen categories. But you are not required to race: it’s a nice spring paddle anyway! On Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Reed Bingham State Park, between Adel and Moultrie, Georgia, it’s the eighth annual BIG Little River Paddle Race. There will be lunch, a kayak raffle, and a silent auction afterwards. You can just paddle along this scenic stretch of tea-colored river on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail among cypress, turtles, birds, and yes, alligators. (Don’t pet them and they won’t bother you.) This three-mile race also has fierce competitors, with last year’s winner finishing in barely more than half an hour.

BLRPR mastermind Bret Wagenhorst, an eye doctor in Tifton, GA, and a charter board member of WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS), said, “You can win in any of a dozen categories: one- or two-person canoe or kayak, male or female or mixed, as well as oldest, youngest, and from farthest away.”

[Tandem female canoe, orange (BW)]
Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, of 2019 First female tandem kayak:

Dianne Walters, president of Friends of Reed Bingham State Park (FORB), said, “This is a great community event, with volunteers from all around helping paddlers from everywhere.”

Wagenhorst added, “Last year, the first woman across the finish in a solo kayak was Nikki York, of Adel, GA. And for the first time, a canoe finished first to win the $100 cash prize. It was a two-person canoe of gentlemen from Gray, GA: Continue reading

VSU Geology and ASA at Land Between the Rivers 2019-11-26

Two Geology Professors visited The Land Between the Rivers and wrote a letter about many projects they and their students can do there, at the site of Troupville Boat Ramp. This is more in-kind match for the GOSP grant pre-application.

[Prof. Don Thieme & Can Denizman, 13:30:33, 30.8515417, -83.3452859]
Prof. Don Thieme & Can Denizman, 13:30:33, 30.8515417, -83.3452859

Letter from Donald M. Thieme, Associate Professor, Geology, Valdosta State University (VSU):

[Donald M. Thieme, Associate Professor, Geology, VSU]
Donald M. Thieme, Associate Professor, Geology, VSU
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I am very pleased and excited about the proposal by WWALS to develop the Troupville River Camp. The property in question is Continue reading

Architect Mac McCall supports Troupville River Camp 2019-12-13

Architect John M. “Mac” McCall’s support letter for the Troupville River Camp includes an offer of in-kind services. That will help bring down the cash match for the grant application.

Other organizations can still send in a letter until the end of this month.

[their work will... help monitor and keep clean these watersheds will have a great impact for generations to come.]
their work will… help monitor and keep clean these watersheds will have a great impact for generations to come.
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Please accept this letter as my indication of support for the WWALS Watershed Coalition’s Application for grant assistance regarding the Troupeville River Camp project.

As a property owner of separate properties in Valdosta, Lowndes County, and on the banks of the Suwannee River in Florida, | fully support the mission of the WWALS Watershed Coalition and the work they are doing for the rivers. The impact their work will have to help monitor and keep clean these watersheds will have great impact for generations to come. The funding provided by this grant will only serve to add to their ability to do this work and to help citizens learn about and experience these rivers that are the natural assets of the State of Georgia.

As a Principal of McCall Architecture, I am glad to offer my firm’s in-kind architectural services to the project to assist in any planning or architectural design needed.

Thank you for your consideration of this Application. Please let me know if any additional support or documentation would be helpful.

This offer of in-kind architectural services adds to the in-kind services already provided by Continue reading

Madison County, FL, supports Troupville River Camp 2019-11-26

Madison County sent the first support letter from an elected body for the Troupville River Camp, almost a month ago. Other organizations can still send in a letter until the end of this month.

[...will increase tourism and the recreational opportunities for locals in our area.]
…will increase tourism and the recreational opportunities for locals in our area.
PDF

Thank you, Chair Alston Kelley and Commissioners Alfred Martin, Rick Davis, Donnie Waldrep, and Ronnie Moore, as well as County Coordinator Brian Kauffman, for this letter.

The Board met during a special called meeting on November 26, 2019, to discuss this issue, and it was unanimously approved because this project will increase tourism and the recreational opportunities for locals in our area.

[Three in a row]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS, of Nankin to Four Freedoms Trail, Withlacoochee River cleanup and paddle 2019-11-16
Madison County, Florida, near side; Lowndes County, Georgia, far side.

Although we live in Florida, Madison County views the Withlacoochee River as a shared resource with Valdosta, Lowndes County, and the State of Georgia, because the river crosses all political boundaries. In addition, we are very familiar with the River Camps that were built several years ago on the Suwannee River and know that these camps have worked extremely well to facilitate increased tourism. Therefore, the Madison County Board of County Commissioners is excited to provide this letter of support for the development of the Troupville River Camp.

The Troupville River Camp will be in the center of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT), leading down by Continue reading

SRWMD supports Troupville River Camp 2019-12-04

The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) “is excited to provide this letter of support for the development of the Troupville River Camp. This project will increase tourism and recreational opportunities for local communities in our area.”

[This project will increase tourism and recreational opportunities for local communities in our area.]
This project will increase tourism and recreational opportunities for local communities in our area.
PDF

Thank you, SRWMD Executive Director Hugh Thomas and Edwin McCook for this support letter. Continue reading

Lowndes-Valdosta Tourism Authority supports Troupville River Camp 2019-12-17

Thanks, CEO Chris Hamilton and the Board of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority for this letter supporting the Troupville River Camp project:

[a positive impact on the economy here and, likewise, the quality of life.]
a positive impact on the economy here and, likewise, the quality of life.
PDF

Please accept this letter as an endorsement of the WWALS Watershed Coalition’s pre-application for grant assistance regarding the Troupville River Camp project.

The VLCCCTA believes that improvements in the destination’s tourism-related offerings will build the travel and tourism industry’s economic impact. The Troupville River Camp would not only enhance the destination’s appeal to the outdoors market but it would also garner more attention for Valdosta, Lowndes County and South Georgia that could lead to even greater development in the future.

The increase in travel and tourism business would have a positive impact on the economy here and, likewise, the quality of life.

A collection of such letters thus far and the rest of the WWALS grant pre-application to the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program (GOSP) is here: Continue reading

Hamilton County, Florida, BOCC supports Troupville River Camp 2019-12-10

Hamilton County, Florida, sent a letter supporting the Troupville River Camp an hour before I mentioned it to the Lowndes County, Georgia, Commission on Tuesday, December 10, 2019.

[what a synergy would be created by this project as it will capitalize on the same efforts of development of eco-tourism efforts here.]
what a synergy would be created by this project as it will capitalize on the same efforts of development of eco-tourism efforts here.
PDF

Hamilton County Fl. is just south of the state border from the project and realizes what a synergy would be created by this project as it will capitalize on the same efforts of development of eco-tourism efforts here.

Thanks especially to Continue reading

Valdosta City Council votes to send letter supporting Troupville River Camp 2019-12-05

Last night on the Valdosta City Council agenda, as mentioned Monday on WCTV, they did vote for the Mayor to send a letter of support for the Troupville River Camp project.

[Voting]
Voting

This was the last scheduled act of outgoing Mayor John Gayle, for which we thank him and the Council.

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman thanked them in Citizens to Be Heard.

Before the meeting, I handed in Continue reading

WCTV: Valdosta City Council to consider supporting Troupville River Camp 2019-12-02

She got a quote from the Mayor:

“We have the park out there where there’s a landing and parking areas and things like that, so it could be a tourist attraction, and people stopping in here to buy supplies and getting ready for their river trips,” said Valdosta Mayor John Gayle. “It could be a plus for us.”

He’s not in the WCTV video, but you may recognize the logo on this cap:

[at the confluence of the two rivers]
at the confluence of the two rivers

The Troupville River Camp project goes beyond what’s out there now; see this TV report: Continue reading

Thanks to organizations for the Okefenokee Swamp, against the Titanium Mine

Thanks to the more than two dozen organizations, local, regional, statewide in Florida and Georgia, national, and international, that oppose the titanium mine that would be far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR) provides boating, birding, fishing, and hunting nearby to the tune of more than $60 million a year and more than 700 jobs, making it the NWR of most economic benefit to each of Georgia and Florida. The Okefenokee Swamp is a unique ecological treasure, and is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers. The burden of proof is on the miners, and they have not met it.

[Organizations For Okefenokee Swamp, Against Titanium Mine]
Organizations For Okefenokee Swamp, Against Titanium Mine
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Add your organization here: https://forms.gle/Dyqc77EBsjXBsz93A

You can still file a comment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. If the Corps actually issues a permit, which they may in the next few weeks, anything filed can be used in any ensuing lawsuit.

Exactly how many organizations oppose that strip mine is hard to say, since Continue reading