Tag Archives: WLRWT

Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, 2022-01-29

Join us for a leisurely paddle on the Withlacoochee River past the clean outfall of the Valdosta Withlacoochee Wastewater Plant, which has not spilled in years. See turtles, fish, birds, cypress, pines, oaks, palmetto, and maybe otters. Probably no alligators, although you could be lucky. You will see the signs where the notorious Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline leaked drilling fluid into the river.

Previously called the Mayor’s Paddle, this third annual is the Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle, as in the Chairman of Lowndes County and the Mayor of Valdosta, who are working to purchase land you will see at the Little River Confluence for a future Troupville River Park and Troupville River Camp. The route also runs along Brooks County, and is upstream of Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida: y’all come.

When: Gather 8 AM, launch 10 AM, end 4 PM, Saturday, January 29, 2022

Put In: Troupville Boat Ramp, 19664 Valdosta Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31602: on GA 133 off I-75 exit 18. Lowndes County. Go west across I-75 on St. Augustine Road (GA 133), turn left at the light for Val Tech Road.

GPS: 30.652536, -83.34586

Take Out: Spook Bridge. Park outside the gate at the corner of Old Quitman Highway and Martin Lane. Do not drive onto the private property; we will have shuttle golf carts and such for the last half mile up from the river. Thanks to The Langdale Company for access for the lunch spot and the takeout below Spook Bridge.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the $10 at the outing, or online:
https://wwals.net/outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

[Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, WWTP clean outfall, Spook Bridge, Takeout]
Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, WWTP clean outfall, Spook Bridge, Takeout; Photos: John S. Quarterman on the previous Mayor’s Paddle 2021-03-27

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WWALS at Brooks County Skillet Festival 2021-10-16

Get some fresh-fried food at the Skillet Festival, and come by the WWALS booth, in Quitman, Georgia, this Saturday. Yes, we will have the raffle kayak, the $950 value Vibe Yellowfin 120. And what will NextEra be up to this year?

When: 9AM-5PM, Saturday, October 16, 2021

Where: Brooks County Courthouse, 100 Screven Street, Quitman, Georgia 31643

What: Brooks County Skillet Festival is an artisan craft fair, food festival and vintage market, all tied up in a pretty burlap bow.

Volunteer: You can help at the WWALS booth. Send us email to contact@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

Event: facebook

Froggy toss was very popular, WWALS booth
WWALS at the Skillet Festival in 2018.

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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

Pictures: Langdale Park Withlacoochee River logjam, Sugar Creek, Salty Snapper 2021-05-15

In which the Mayor of Valdosta does work. I lent him my Sawzall and he sawed off a deadfall.

[Boats, Withlacoochee River, Deadfalls, Sugar Creek, Salty Snapper]
Boats, Withlacoochee River, Deadfalls, Sugar Creek, Salty Snapper

Many kinds of boats started out at Langdale Park Boat Ramp. Continue reading

Pop-Up Sugar Creek Cleanup, 2021-08-14

Come help us clean up the Sugar Creek logjam for a fourth time before Tropical Storm Fred comes in.

Most of the trash from Hightower Branch at St. Augustine Road, no doubt plus much other trash, has already washed down Sugar Creek and is at the usual logjam. Let’s get it before it washes into the Withlacoochee River, then down the Suwannee to the Gulf.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:15 AM, end 12 PM, Saturday, August 14, 2021

Put In: Salty Snapper Landing, a private slope to Sugar Creek, below the Salty Snapper parking lot, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602

GPS: 30.862126, -83.31839

Take Out: Salty Snapper Landing

Bring: Cleanup materials will be provided, but if you’ve got a trash picker, bring it along.

Free: This outing is free to everyone!

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

[Canoe, floating trash, map]
Canoe, floating trash, map

This cleanup is part of the Georgia Rivers Alive cleanups.

We are still talking to Valdosta about trash traps. And we are working on dealing with the problem at its sources. Those include not only these heaps of trash, but also the companies that make all this single-use garbage. We will probably need your help with those things, too, before long.

Meanwhile, if you find any trash heaps like this, please report them through Valdosta Click ‘n’ Fix and let WWALS know, too.

Event: facebook, meetup

[St. Augustine Road, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River]
St. Augustine Road, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

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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.

Valdosta Mayor supports Recreational redesignation of rivers 2021-06-30

Maybe this letter will help GA-EPD to upgrade our waterways from Fishing to Recreational for tighter standards on contaminants.

[Water Trails, Mayor's Paddle, cleanups, $100 million sewer improvements, Troupville River Camp]
Water Trails, Mayor’s Paddle, cleanups, $100 million sewer improvements, Troupville River Camp
PDF

Letter, Valdosta Mayor to GA-EPD

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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

Pictures: Juneteenth @ Reed Bingham State Park Lake with Macedonia Community Foundation 2021-06-19

Fannie Gibbs of Macedonia Community Foundation invited WWALS to their Juneteenth celebration at Reed Bingham State Park Lake. So we took boats and volunteers and got people in boats on the lake.

Including Fannie, in a boat, with a paddle, in the rain!

[Juneteenth at Reed Bingham State Park Lake with Macedonia Community Foundation and Suwannee Riverkeeper]
Juneteenth at Reed Bingham State Park Lake with Macedonia Community Foundation and Suwannee Riverkeeper

Thanks especially to Fannie Gibbs for inviting WWALS. We will keep writing joint grant proposals until we get some funded for boating and swimming lessons, historical research, and paddle outings designed around African-American waterway history. Meanwhile, we will keep doing things like this anyway. Continue reading