Troupville River Camp on Valdosta City Council agenda 2019-12-05

On the Valdosta City Council agenda for 5:30 PM this Thursday is:

7.b. Consideration of a request from the WWALS Watershed Coalition for a Letter of Support for the Troupville River Camp.

Troupville River Camp at the center of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT), leading from the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers upstream in Georgia, down the Withlacoochee River to Florida and the Suwannee River, with its own River Camps.

If I understand correctly, the Mayor plans to discuss this item with Council, and then write and send a letter of support. Anyone who wants to attend to support this action by Valdosta, please come. I may stand up afterwards in Citizens to Be Heard to thank them.

At 5:30 PM, Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, I will stand up in Citizens Wishing to Be Heard to talk about this subject. It’s not clear that it will be on the Lowndes County agenda, but thus far Commissioners seem agreeable to the Troupville River Camp project.

At 5PM, Monday, December 2, 2019, I am scheduled to speak on the same subject at the Cook County, GA, Commission Work Session in Adel.

Here is a summary of what we submitted at the end of October in a pre-application to the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program (GOSP).

Despite the October 31st deadline for the pre-applications, GOSP tells me we actually have until the end of the year to get letters of support in. And according to GOSP’s Sample Resolution we don’t need to have all the sources of match funding approved by the end of the year, merely wording about intent. Plus the WWALS board already approved a resolution to submit the application, so we don’t even have to have resolutions from partner organizations; a letter will do. If I’m interpreting GOSP correctly, and this is its first year, so we’re all making this up as we go along.

Also included in the Valdosta City Council board packet and sent to Lowndes County, Cook County, and others, is much of the related information I sent them:

  • 2019-10-31–WWALS-GOSP-Troupville-River-Camp-pre-application-filed.pdf
    The pre-application as filed with GOSP.
  • troupville-river-camp-summary.pdf
    Summary of the project:
    1. Concept Plan map by ASA Engineering (pro bono)
    2. Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) map showing Troupville River Camp in its center
    3. Project Narrative from the GOSP pre-application
    4. Letter from Myrna Ballard, President of Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce

      [One of our Chamber's top priorities....]
      One of our Chamber’s top priorities….

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

      One of our Chamber’s top priorities for the past 20 years is building the type of community where young professionals and amenity-seeking retirees want to live. An essential ingredient in creating a ‘cool community’ which would attract such newcomers is being able to offer a variety of both active and passive recreation venues. I am quite familiar with the property being considered for this project, and believe it is ideal for this intended use.

    5. Letter from Madison County, FL, Board of County Commissioners

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

      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.

      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.

    6. Letter from landowner Helen Tapp

      [Helen Tapp welcoming Paddle Georgia]
      Helen Tapp welcoming Paddle Georgia

      …Grant applicants have a vision for a unique way to celebrate nature, history and outdoor fun. 74 acres of greenspace can be available for public Fishing, Water Trail Paddling, Camping, Hiking, Birding, Nature Journaling, Art, Historical Site Interpretation, Heritage Education, Ecological Studies, Watershed Protection, and more. I hope you will support that vision. For the first time in a century this land is available. Once sold for private use or subdivided, the opportunities for public use will be lost forever. Future generations deserve to know the beauty of this place.

    7. Project Timeline
    8. Project Budget

Come on down to one of these Council or Commission meetings if you want to support the Troupville River Camp project.

Or maybe you’d like to write your own letter of support.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!