FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Valdosta, April 27th, 2015 — You are invited to paddle in the third annual BIG Little River Paddle Race on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Bring your canoe or kayak or rent one at Reed Bingham State Park at this fundraiser for Friends of Reed Bingham State Park and WWALS Watershed Coalition. The course runs three miles down the scenic winding Little River from Red Roberts Landing at the north end of the park to the park boat ramp on the Colquitt side of the lake. It’s called a race, but many paddlers participate at a leisurely pace and just enjoy the lovely south Georgia scenery of cypress, tupelo, palmettos, pine trees and live oaks and the glimpses of wildlife such as egrets, coots, wood ducks, herons, buzzards, and an occasional bald eagle, gar, or alligator.
The event registration and start is at Red Roberts landing, a boat ramp at Rountree Bridge. To get there from I-75 take exit 41 and immediately turn in front of Horse Creek Winery and follow Rountree Bridge road about 4.8 miles to the bridge. Registration is from 8-9 a.m. with a mass start at 9:30 a.m. Participants will unload their boats at the start, drive their vehicles to the finish point in the park and then catch a shuttle back to the start. The fee to register is $20 per boat before May 1 and $30 per boat after that and on event day. There is an additional $5 per vehicle park entrance fee. Canoes and kayaks may be rented from the park while supplies last for a separate fee, and reservations are recommended. Event registration is available on-line at www.wwals.net and at the office at Reed Bingham State Park.
There will be a free lunch for all participants and medals for the top finishers in various categories, including: men’s two person canoe, women’s two person canoe, mixed two person canoe, men’s tandem kayak, women’s tandem kayak, mixed tandem kayak, men’s solo kayak, women’s solo kayak, men’s solo canoe, and women’s solo canoe. The awards will be given out at about 11:30 a.m.
Last year saw lots of local entries, but also paddlers from as away as New York and Pennsylvania in the U.S. and even a couple from Germany. We had fathers and sons, husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, and friends paddle together. Young and old alike had a grand time. An average paddler takes about 1.5-2 hours to paddle the course. All paddlers must have a life jacket and know how to swim. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
About FORB and WWALS: Proceeds from the event benefit the Friends of Reed Bingham (FORB) and also WWALS Watershed Coalition. FORB is an all-volunteer organization which helps to fund projects in the park, such as the island campsite and the putt-putt golf course. WWALS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization with board members in Lowndes, Berrien, and Tift Counties, Georgia and Hamilton County, Florida which advocates for watershed conservation of the Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River systems in south Georgia and north Florida through awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen advocacy.
Contact: For more information go to www.wwals.net, call 229-392-5513, or stop by the park office.