Tag Archives: Cherry Creek

Trash cans at Freedom Park 2022-11-21

Bobby McKenzie reported yesterday, “I’m at Freedom Park and what is new? I count 11 trash receptacles strategical placed in the baseball parking lot….guess what in them..😆 trash”

[Trash cans at Freedom Park 2022-11-21]
Trash cans at Freedom Park 2022-11-21

Imagine that: trash cans in a parking lot, like Valdosta city ordinances require.

And people do use them. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-06-02

Update 2022-06-11: Five Rivers Clean 2022-06-09.

Seventh week: all rivers clean! Happy swimming, fishing, and boating in the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers.

For example, tomorrow morning, Florida Campsites to Allen Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-04.

Of course, there can be undetected local water quality problems (see below). But all the WWALS sites tested Thursday got clean results. While there is a prediction of rain today and tomorrow, if it’s like what we’ve been seeing, it will be light and won’t wash much contamination into the river. No sewage spills have been reported in Georgia or Florida in the past week. So have a good weekend.

The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for Wednesday upstream and Wednesday of last week downstream. Those were all clean, too.

But earlier contamination was detected in Valdosta results. Continue reading

Videos: One Valdosta-Lowndes, Troupville River Camp @ LCC 2021-11-08

Featuring as their number one BIG thing was “River Camp Project”, in a presentation about One Valdosta-Lowndes (OVL), which was far the longest item at 33 minutes at the Lowndes County Commission Work Session on November 8, 2021.

[One Valdosta-Lowndes, River Camp Project, Dr. Carvajal, Origins]
One Valdosta-Lowndes, River Camp Project, Dr. Carvajal, Origins

You may recognize that as Troupville River Camp, for which WWALS submitted an application to the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program (GOSP) in 2019. Back then there was no cash match available. Now both Valdosta and Lowndes County have funds to purchase Land Between the Rivers from Helen Tapp, at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River. Helen sent GA-AL Land Trust to walk the land a month ago, and probably soon a conservation easement will be worked out. Meanwhile, Troupville River Camp and Troupville Nature Park are prominently featured in the WWALS Vision for Water Quality and Access in Lowndes County Georgia 2020-12-02. That Vision was input to the Master Plan Update process for Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA), and the resulting VLPRA Master Plan incorporates the River Camp and other river access and facilities as priorities.

Add the possibility of Valdosta buying for parkland the 300+ acres of the Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank. And the potential for Sugar Creek downstream of Baytree as an urban recreational creek.

It’s good to see One Valdosta-Lowndes interested in river and creek access and recreation.

Below are videos by Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), which also has the rest of the meeting. Continue reading

VLPRA Master Plan Presentation 2021-08-31

It’s a long-term vision, with strategies for funding and implementation, which includes everything needed for a Troupville River Camp at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River, and other river parks and trails. This Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA) Master Plan is based on both a statistically-representative survey and an anecdotal qualitative survey, which came up with very similar results.

[Strategy 6: Access to Rivers, Provide Additional Amenities]
Strategy 6: Access to Rivers, Provide Additional Amenities

These are the presentation slides used by David Barth in the September 13, 2021, Lowndes County Commission Work Session. His Barth & Associates helped develop the plan for the Valdosta-Lowndes Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA).

It’s our understanding that the WWALS Vision for water quality and access in Lowndes County, Georgia 2021-03-01 is incorporated in this VLPRA Master Plan, including Troupville River Camp, Troupville River Park, and other river recommendations.

After the slides, see also some more recent WWALS recommendations.

VLPRA Master Plan Presentation Slides

See also PDF. Thanks to Jessica Catlett of VLPRA for sending these slides.

You can see David Barth present the slides in videos by Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE). Continue reading

Denied: Deannexation of Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank @ VCC 2021-08-19

WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman heard it on Valdosta’s facebook livestream. The result was surprising only in that it was unanimous.

Bryce Ethridge, Valdosta Daily Times, Aug 24, 2021, City denies de-annexation request, approves park projects,

VALDOSTA — After tabling it at the last meeting, Valdosta City Council denied the de-annexation of 310 acres from the city.

This was a request made by the Uvalde Land Company for the city’s portion of the Cherry Creek Wetlands Mitigation Bank property located between the Withlacoochee River and Cherry Creek residential neighborhoods.

The company wanted the change for “wildlife management and recreational use” for a hunting ground.

The request, even before being brought up in the council meeting, was opposed by nearby residents, some of whom were concerned about being in the path of stray bullets because of their homes’ proximity to the area.

Mayor Pro-Tem Tim Carroll said the applicants can seek permits to hunt on the land while it remains within the city.

“None of the reasons given warrant the de-annexation of the property, especially when you consider there are a host of homeowners that have homes above this property,” he said. “They are citizens of Valdosta and they deserve to have their voices heard by their representatives.”

Carroll motioned to deny the request, followed by a unanimous vote in favor of the action.

[Aerial of proposed de-annexation]
Aerial of proposed de-annexation in 2021-08-05 Regular Session, Valdosta City Council

The picture is from the preceding City Council meeting, when they held the Public Hearing, before tabling at the landowner’s request.

Tim Carroll is visible behind the small monitor at the speaker’s podium. The de-annexation would have been from his City Council district, so, as is usual in such cases, the other Council members followed his lead, although some of them also had other reasons to deny.

See also: Continue reading

Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Lowndes County Commission 2021-08-10

For voting Tuesday evening, three water-related items have more implications than might appear from the agenda of the Lowndes County Commission.

[Lake Alapaha water treatment, Bay Branch tributaries in Building Valdosta Subdivision, Army Corps on Val Del Villas]
Lake Alapaha water treatment, Bay Branch tributaries in Building Valdosta Subdivision, Army Corps on Val Del Villas

7.a. REZ-2021-09 Building Valdosta Subdivision (0070 018), R-A to R-21, Community Well & Septic, ~64.84 acres.

This subdivision has two creeks crossing it, leading to Bay Branch and the Withlacoochee River, plus at least one retention pond.

7.c. REZ-2021-13 Val Del Villas, Val Del Rd. P-D Amendment, County Water and Sewer, ~28.436 acres

For this existing subdivision, Northside Property Development wants to add more houses. It got the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine that the remaining part of Val Del Villas off Val Del Road is not jurisdictional wetlands. That’s uphill from Sermons Branch and the Withlacoochee River. Northside Property Development has the same registered agent as Uvalde Land Company that bought the Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank next to the other side of the Withlacoochee River, and wants to deannex the upland half of it from Valdosta. The uplands in that Bank tract are not jurisdictional wetlands, either.

8.b. Alapaha Plantation Water Treatment Pilot Study

This is the kind of extra expense Valdosta avoided by sinking its water wells at Guest Road twice as deep after Withlacoochee River water was discovered reaching them from Shadrick Sink, on the other side of the Withlacoochee River, and the other side of what is now the Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank, recently sold to Uvalde Land Company, which wants to deannex half of it from Valdosta.

For much more background, including the so-far $225,415 running total for Lowndes County subsidizing water for the private Lake Alapaha subdivision next to the Alapaha River, see The never-ending Lake Alapaha Water Treatment Plant saga @ LCC 2021-08-10.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

WWALS to Valdosta: please deny deannexation of Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank 2021-08-05

Update 2021-08-31: Denied: Deannexation of Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank @ VCC 2021-08-05.

August 5, 2021 (see also PDF)

To: Matt Martin, Valdosta City Planner, mlmartin@valdostacity.com

Re: Please deny VA-2021-16 Deannexation Request by Uvalde Land Company

Dear Planner Martin,

WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. asks the Valdosta Mayor and Council to deny deannexation of half of the Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank (CCMB) in VA-2021-16 at its meeting this Thursday, August 5, 2021. As you know, the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) already voted 6-3 to recommend against deannexation.

[Location, Sinkholes]
Location, Sinkholes

Given the lack of any good reasons by the applicant for deannexation of that 310 acres of Withlacoochee River floodplain around Cherry Creek, let me remind everyone of some reasons not to deannex.

The CCMB is directly across the Withlacoochee River from Shadrick Sink. Valdosta already had to sink its water wells on Guest Road twice as deep because of river water going into Shadrick Sink, then through ground water several miles east to those wells. The choice was to pay for much more expensive methods to deal with tannic acid and biological components of the river water, or dig the wells deeper. This is literally a textbook case: Continue reading

Withlacoochee River floodplain deannexation at Valdosta City Council 2021-08-05

Update 2021-08-05: WWALS to Valdosta: please deny deannexation of Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank 2021-08-05.

Thursday evening the Valdosta City Council decides whether to deannex 310 acres of Withlacoochee River floodplain around Cherry Creek, uphill from the Withlacoochee River.

The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission voted 6-3 to recommend denial, apparently deciding no good reason for deannexation was given by the applicant. There are substantial reasons to be concerned about potential uses of that land if deannexed.

Instead, Valdosta and Lowndes County should purchase the entire 530.24 acre property down to the Withlacoochee River to add to a trails system up along the Withlacoochee River, connecting with the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail all the way down to the future Troupville River Camp.

[Location, Agenda]
Location, Agenda

It’s a Public Hearing, so you can speak. Or go ahead and send a letter to Valdosta City Planner Matt Martin: mlmartin@valdostacity.com

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

[Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank, Withlacoochee River to future Troupville River Camp]
Cherry Creek Mitigation Bank, Withlacoochee River to future Troupville River Camp in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

Why Withlacoochee River floodplain deannexation from Valdosta? @ GLPC 2021-07-26 2021-07-26

Update 2021-08-02: Withlacoochee River floodplain deannexation at Valdosta City Council 2021-08-05.

Valdosta should not deannex 310 acres of Withlacoochee River floodplain around Cherry Creek. No good reason for deannexation has been given by the applicant, and there are substantial reasons to be concerned about potential uses of that land if deannexed. Instead, Valdosta and Lowndes County should purchase the entire 530.24 acre property down to the Withlacoochee River to add to a trails system up and down the Withlacoochee River. The advisory Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) at its meeting this Monday should recommend against annexation, and then the Valdosta Mayor and Council should deny.

I am sending a letter to that effect today to Valdosta City Planner Matt Martin, and I recommend you do, as well: mlmartin@valdostacity.com

[Public land and Uvalde Land Trust Deannexation request, Withlacoochee River]
Public land and Uvalde Land Trust Deannexation request, Withlacoochee River

That deannexation is on the GLPC agenda for this Monday, July 26, 2021. The only land access to the property is through the City of Valdosta, and since that whole area of the river has extensive flood plain and little road access, Lowndes County cannot provide public utilities, fire/police protection, or emergency medical response across the river to the subject property, as the City Planner points out in the agenda sheet. The landowner’s stated purpose would be better served by the property remaining inside the city limits: “to use for wildlife management, and rec. use as it is in a mitgation bank & has no development use.” The City Planner even recommends annexing the rest of the subject property into the city, down to the river. Continue reading

Clean Rivers after Tuesday blip and before Thursday rains 2021-07-01

Update 2021-07-06: Bad Upstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-07-02.

The Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers are remarkably clean by samples Thursday, July 1, 2021. No sewage spills have been reported for Georgia.

Some bad news: something caused high E. coli in the Withlacoochee River at GA 133 on Tuesday. And Starke, Florida, had two more small spills above the Santa Fe River, but nothing like the big one that Florida city had a week ago.

The good news: according to those Tuesday tests, whatever was in the Withlacoochee River at GA 133 was not coming from Valdosta’s Mulch Yard off of Val-Tech Road. And by Thursday samples, whatever it was was gone by then.

So by the results we have right now, it’s clear for swimming, diving, fishing, and boating.

And still more good news: Madison Health has lifted its former Bacterial Advisory for the Withlacoochee River.

But beware: many inches of rain fell later Thursday and today. That usually washes more contamination into the rivers. See Cattle and hogs: Withlacoochee River water quality status 2021-06-27 https://wwals.net/?p=55966

[Chart, rivers, results, Swim Guide]
Chart, rivers, results, Swim Guide

Just don’t say we didn’t mention those rains yesterday and today, which in Brooks County started even earlier, and have been very heavy. If we’re all lucky, most of what manure would wash off has already washed off. We shall see.

With a dozen tests this week, we’re burning through testing materials. Thanks to Joe Brownlee, Southwest Director, Georgia Power, for another generous water quality testing grant that helps make this possible. Continue reading