Tag Archives: VLPRA

Sponsored: Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2024-03-02

Georgia Power has pledged a substantial grant for the Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle on the Withlacoochee River, Saturday, March 2, 2024.

“Thanks to Joe Brownlee and Georgia Power, WWALS will not require any payment to paddle,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Just use the eventbrite free ticket to reserve a spot so we’ll have an idea of how many are coming.”
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mayor-and-chairmans-paddle-langdale-park-to-troupville-2024-tickets-799890352577

[Paddlers, Mayor, Chairman 2023-03-04]
Paddlers, Mayor, Chairman 2023-03-04

“However, if you want to support the advocacy and activities of WWALS, there is also a paid ticket through eventbrite. Or become a member or sponsor. Anyway, come down and paddle, see the sights, and have fun!”

For further information about the paddle, see:
https://wwals.net/?p=64027

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2024-03-02

Update 2024-02-02: Now no fee required, thanks to a pledge from Georgia Power.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River

Valdosta, Georgia, January 29, 2024 — Join us on March 2nd for a leisurely paddle with the Mayor of Valdosta and the Chairman of Lowndes County on the Withlacoochee River, along the west side of the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin, and along the site of future Troupville River Camp and Nature Park.

“The annual paddle event provides a unique opportunity for residents to come together and explore the natural beauties of Lowndes County, immersing themselves in the serenity of our waterways,” said Bill Slaughter, Chairman of the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners. “We encourage residents of all ages to come out and join us for a fun morning.”

“Together, we will showcase the natural beauty of our blackwater rivers and continue to work towards finding the most cost-effective solutions to educate our citizens and eliminate the trash that is littering our creeks and rivers,” said Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson. “With this event, we aim to empower our community and inspire everyone to take action towards protecting our precious waterways. It will take all of us working together to make a difference, and we are excited to lead the way towards a cleaner and more sustainable future.”

“Welcome to this one of our many paddles. All elected officials present, from both Florida and Georgia, get in free, and will have three minutes each to speak at the put-in. You can paddle up to them and ask questions,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “We have at least one daytime river paddle a month, in Florida or Georgia, plus an evening Full Moon paddle at Banks Lake, near Lakeland, GA.”

[FB: Paddlers 2023-03-04]
Paddlers 2023-03-04; Photo: John S. Quarterman

On a new route this year, we’ll go seven miles in four hours, with an early takeout.

Come as early as 8 AM, Saturday, March 2, 2024 to Langdale Park, drop off your boats, and drive to Troupville Boat Ramp. Shuttle from there back to Langdale Park.

One 15-seat van provided by the Boys & Girls Club will shuttle you back to Troupville. “We love supporting this event and giving back to our community! This is just another event that shows how good the Mayor and the Commission Chairman are always working together to help this community,” said Bill Holt, VP of Operations, Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta. This will be an outside event, but we will recommend those riders taking advantage of the shuttle service to please wear a mask.

We’ll paddle three miles from Langdale Park Boat Ramp through past Three Mile Branch to Sugar Creek with early takeout. On this all-wooded route it is hard to believe you are next to the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin. There are no houses, but you may see creeks, oaks, cypresses, pines, fish, birds, and turtles. Valdosta is getting much better at keeping sewage out of the creeks and rivers.

“I’m happy to lead this paddle again,” said Phil Hubbard.

Stop at Sugar Creek to see the WaterGoat trash trap purchased by the City of Valdosta and cleaned out by volunteer Russell Allen McBride and family. That floating chain and net keeps much trash out of the river. There is more for the City of Valdosta to do about trash, but that WaterGoat was the start of current progress on that problem. If you want to stop there, you can take out below Berta’s Pizza Kitchen on Gornto Road.

“The South Georgia Film Festival is proud to support this year’s Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle,” said Jason Brown. South Georgia Film Festival Director. “As many of the available kayakers will be in attendance both at the paddle and that evening for the film screening on the campus of Valdosta State University.”

Then we’ll paddle another four miles under the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge, past Wood Valley Subdivision and Sheri Run, and the I-75 and GA 133 highway bridges.

Continue reading

More about the Valdosta Knob Hill or Williamsburg Drive sewage spill 2024-01-10

Update 2024-01-26: Five clean rivers and a clean creek 2024-01-25.

I discovered a can of worms when I took a few pictures to illustrate the 100,000-gallon Knob Hill Road or Williamsburg Drive, Valdosta sewage spill of 10-12 January 2024.

The actual location is not quite where I was told by Valdosta Utilities. But I cut them a lot of slack for that, because they were working on getting it stopped, not precisely determining ownership of the affected properties.

[Spill site behind 215 Knob Hill Road, VALORGIS, VLPRA, Lowndes County Tax Assessors, Pebblewood Drive detention pond, Three Mile Branch]
Spill site behind 215 Knob Hill Road, VALORGIS, VLPRA, Lowndes County Tax Assessors, Pebblewood Drive detention pond, Three Mile Branch

More importantly, according to Valdosta Utilities Acting Director Jason Barnes, the cause was not as first thought a collapsed sewer main. When Utilities examined the pipes, they found rocks and some sort of lid in them.

And according to Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson yesterday, they also found other materials that never should have been in a sewer pipe. I will leave it to the City of Valdosta to reveal in their own time exactly what they found.

From the descriptions I heard, those things could not have gotten in there accidentally, and they could not have been washed into the sewer main by stormwater.

The basic point seems clear: this ten-times-major spill was not caused by failing old sewer infrastructure. It was caused by somebody putting things into the sewer pipes that never should have been there. Vandalism is one of the more polite words for that.

Plus the Mayor is making the City of Valdosta an offer of a location for a WaterGoat trash trap.

So I went Continue reading

Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Langdale Park to Troupville, Withlacoochee River 2024-03-02

Update 2024-02-02: Now no fee required, thanks to a pledge from Georgia Power.

Update 2024-01-29: Press release, Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2024-03-02.

Join us for a leisurely seven-mile four-hour paddle with the Mayor of Valdosta and the Chairman of Lowndes County on the Withlacoochee River.

On a new route this year, we’ll go three miles from Langdale Park Boat Ramp through Langdale Park past Three Mile Branch to Sugar Creek with early takeout. On this all-wooded route it is hard to believe you are next to the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin.

Stop at Sugar Creek to see the WaterGoat trash trap purchased by the City of Valdosta and cleaned out by volunteer Russell Allen McBride and family, which keeps much trash out of the river.

Then we’ll paddle another four miles under the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge, past Wood Valley Subdivision and Sheri Run, and the I-75 and GA 133 highway bridges.

Notice all the deadfalls (fallen dead trees) sawed out of the way by numerous WWALS Chainsaw Cleanups.

We will see all the river frontage of the land recently purchased by Lowndes County for Troupville River Camp and Nature Park. After paddling a third of a mile up the Little River, we will take out at Troupville Boat Ramp.

When: Gather 8 AM, launch 10 AM, end 4 PM, Saturday, March 2, 2024

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, off of I-75 Exit 22, North Valdosta Road.

GPS: 30.88747, -83.32395

[FB: Paddlers 2023-03-04]
Paddlers 2023-03-04

Continue reading

Pictures: Langdale Park Withlacoochee River Cleanup 2023-10-20

WWALS cleaned up near Langdale Park Boat Ramp during the United Way Day of Caring. We ended up with trash bagged, plus 4 shower doors, a big screen tv, a kids toy float tug boat and lots of plastic and styrofoam, glass and aluminum.

Outings leader Russell Allen McBride previously scouted the Withlacoochee River upstream and down from Langdale Park Boat Ramp, and found too many deadfalls for boating, so we cleaned up on land. Thanks to Bobby McKenzie, Suzy Hall, and Gretchen Quarterman for cleaning up.

[Trash, t-shirts, slough, and signs at Langdale Park Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2023-10-20]
Trash, t-shirts, slough, and signs at Langdale Park Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2023-10-20

Thanks to Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson for cleaning up with us, and for bringing still more donuts. Also the United Way t-shirts, to add to our Rivers Alive t-shirts.

There are more pictures below.

See also the facebook photosets by:

Continue reading

Mostly on land: Langdale Park Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2023-10-20

Update 2023-10-26: Pictures: Langdale Park Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2023-10-20.

Join us for a WWALS river cleanup during Valdosta United Way Day of Caring.

No boat required, since we will mostly be on land.

Outings leader Russell Allen McBride scouted the Withlacoochee River upstream and down from Langdale Park Boat Ramp, and found too many deadfalls for a river cleanup.

[Deadfalls, bridge, and trash, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park]
Deadfalls, bridge, and trash, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park

Russell wrote, “I went down to Langdale Park yesterday. There are 3 deadfalls downstream before 3 mile branch and one deadfall upstream before the N Valdosta Bridge. I found a good size pocket of trash in a slough that is dried up downstream a short walk from boat ramp. Not much trash in river upstream. A small amount of trash in the deadfalls downstream but until they are cut out it would be hard to get. I suggest we pick up what I found on land.”

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 1 PM, Friday, October 20, 2023

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.88747, -83.32395, -83.32395 Continue reading

Entrance cleared to Langdale Park Boat Ramp 2023-10-10

Langdale Park is back open to drive in, since Monday. Join us at Langdale Park Boat Ramp on Saturday, Friday, October 20, 2023, for a boating cleanup. Don’t worry: if you don’t have a boat or don’t want to use one, you can clean up on land.

You may recall that back on September 28th I thought I’d collect a water quality sample at Langdale Park, and I found downed trees all along the entrance road.

A week later, I checked again, and all that Hurricane Idalia debris was still there.

So I called Lowndes County Public Works. They agreed they did maintain Hyta Mederer Road, and they would open a work order. They asked if it was urgent, or would Monday do? I said Monday would be fine.

[Thanks to Lowndes County Public Works for reopening Langdale Park]
Thanks to Lowndes County Public Works for reopening Langdale Park

And on Monday they got all the impediments off the road. Gretchen Quarterman tood these pictures Tuesday. She got there in her low-slung Prius C.

On the way back out, she took a video.
https://youtu.be/mbIY1uMhzos

Continue reading

Langdale Park Withlacoochee River Cleanup 2023-10-20

Update 2023-10-26: Pictures: Langdale Park Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2023-10-20.

Update 2023-10-19: Mostly on land: Langdale Park Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2023-10-20.

Join us for a WWALS paddle cleanup during United Way Day of Caring.

Outings leader Russell Allen McBride will scout the Withlacoochee River upstream and down from Langdale Park Boat Ramp, and will let us know the exact route at the outing.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 1 PM, Friday, October 20, 2023

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.88747, -83.32395, -83.32395

[Langdale Park Boat Ramp 2022-11-03, Withlacoochee River upstream and down 2022-11-13, and Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail sign]
Langdale Park Boat Ramp 2022-11-03, Withlacoochee River upstream and down 2022-11-13, and Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail sign

Continue reading

Freezer full of meat at Clyattville-Nankin Boat Ramp 2023-07-05

Suzy Hall found this smelly trash yesterday, July 5, 2023, at Clyattville-Nankin Boat Ramp.

[Ravine, freezer, Withlacoochee River under Clyattville-Nankin Road Bridge --Suzy Hall 2023-07-05]
Ravine, freezer, Withlacoochee River under Clyattville-Nankin Road Bridge –Suzy Hall 2023-07-05

She says it’s in the “infamous ravine”, which I’m assuming to be the one south (left) of the boat ramp, about here: 30.674710, -83.394021. Continue reading

OVL ED around Troupville River Park 2023-05-31

Mary Beth Brownlee, new Executive Director of One Valdosta-Lowndes (OVL), got to see the site of the future Troupville River Camp and Nature Park.

[Around Troupville River Camp and Nature Park --jsq]
Around Troupville River Camp and Nature Park –jsq

She and Georgia Power Southwest Regional Director Joe Brownlee and their daughter Elizabeth are only about the third party who have followed me around the entire river circumference of the site, down the Little River to its Confluence, and then up the Withlacoochee River back to GA 133.

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman took many of these pictures. WWALS provided the visitors information about Troupville Nature Park and Troupville River Camp including letters of support from Valdosta and Lowndes County, Georgia, the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber, Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida, the Suwannee River Water Management District, and others.

Troupville River Camp is top of the project list for OVL, which is an economic development and well being organization. Continue reading