Tag Archives: Madison County

Nankin to Four Freedoms Trail, Withlacoochee River, Cleanup and Paddle 2019-11-16

Join us to clean up trash at Nankin Boat Ramp in Lowndes County, Georgia. Bring a boat and join us paddling down the Withlacoochee River, continuing cleanuing up. We will stop at second-magnitude McIntyre Spring in Brooks County, Georgia, which should be flowing fine about now. Thanks to special permission from Madison County, Florida, we will take a few vehicles down to the river at the end of the Four Freedoms Trail to collect an abandoned canoe and other items, and we will take out there.

When: Gather 9:00 AM, launch 10 AM, Saturday, November 16, 2019

Put In: Nankin Boat Ramp, 6899 Clyattville-Nankin Rd, Valdosta, GA 31601, in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.675192, -83.394143

Take Out: Four Freedoms Trail, NE Peppermint Trail, Pinetta, FL, Madison County.

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, especially this one.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

[Upstream, 2019:10:17 15:59:44, 30.6294432, -83.3186451]
Photo: John S Quarterman, Upstream under the abandoned railroad trestle, at the end of Four Freedoms Trail, 2019:10:17 15:59:44, 30.6294432, -83.3186451

Continue reading

Four Freedoms Trail, Withlacoochee River, Madison County, Florida 2019-10-17

Here’s the Withlacoochee River from the only public access near State Line Shoals: the Madison County, Florida, Four Freedoms Trail. It’s on the former right of way of the Valdosta Railway, formerly Valdosta Southern Railway (VSO), formerly Georgia and Florida Railroad, built in the late 19th century as Florida Midland and Georgia Railroad. The same Valdosta Railway is still in use from Valdosta to Clyattville, Lowndes County, Georgia.

[RR Trestle, 2019:10:17 15:59:24, 30.6294432, -83.3186451]
RR Trestle, 2019:10:17 15:59:24, 30.6294432, -83.3186451

You can paddle down the river to the Four Freedoms Trail from Nankin Boat Ramp, about six miles, past McIntyre Spring.

Or upstream about four miles from State Line Ramp, although that could be challenging right now with the Withlacoochee River this low.

All these points are on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT). Continue reading

Still $20 until midnight tonight: WWALS Boomerang 2019-10-15

Today, October 15, 2019, is the last day for $20 early bird tickets for the WWALS Boomerang Paddle Race from Georgia into Florida and back again. After midnight, the price goes up to $30.

Everybody cropped, Everybody
Photo: Jay Blanton of Georgia Photography Fanatic. Everybody still at WWALS Boomerang after the awards, 2018-11-03.

Everything about WWALS Boomerang 2019 is here:
http://wwals.net/pictures/2019-10-26–boomerang/

Continue reading

Winner Tumbler for WWALS Boomerang and last call for early bird tickets 2019-10-26

Tuesday, October 15, 2019, is the last day for $20 early bird tickets for the WWALS Boomerang Paddle Race from Georgia into Florida and back again.

If you are one of the many lucky winners, you will get one of these tumblers with the Boomerang logo on it:

[Boomerang logo on tumbler]
Boomerang logo on tumbler

Thanks to Fishing Tackle Outlet on Madison Highway for becoming a sponsor. You or your organization can also sponsor the WWALS Boomerang. Sponsors get their name and logo on a banner, in announcements, and in flyers, with various other perks at different levels of sponsorship.

Everything about WWALS Boomerang 2019 is here:
http://wwals.net/pictures/2019-10-26–boomerang/

Continue reading

Free boat rental at WWALS Boomerang, from Georgia to Florida and Back Again 2019-10-26

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Valdosta, GA, September 16, 2019 — Two outfitters will have boats for free rental; thanks, NWXpeditions and VSU Core! Or bring your own, of course. Again this year, Boy Scouts of America, South Georgia Council, will be there. TNT Hot Dogs will have food, and paddlers each get a ticket for a beer at Georgia Beer Company. “There’s still time for more sponsors to sign up!” said Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie, “And you can wear your Halloween costumes!”

[Flyer]
Flyer
PDF

“This is the sort of cross-state-line ecotourism all the local counties say they want to promote, maybe including some friendly Georgia-Florida rivalry,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, “Paddle racing and leisurely paddling on the idyllic blackwater Withlacoochee River. Plenty of water, no deadfalls, plus shoals!”

Gathering at 11AM, Saturday, October 26, 2019, at State Line Ramp in Georgia, we will paddle into Florida, with staggered starts for turnarounds at 1, 2, and 3 miles, then back to where we started.

Tickets are $20 until October 15th, then $30.

Vendor space is free for nonprofits vested in conservation or stewardship of our waters. There is a $20 fee for for-profit vendors, and because it’s a park a selling permit is required. Thanks to Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA) for use of State Line Boat Ramp.

Sponsors get their name and logo on a banner, in announcements, and in flyers, with various other perks at different levels of sponsorship.

Everything about WWALS Boomerang 2019 is here:
http://wwals.net/pictures/2019-10-26–boomerang/

Continue reading

WWALS Boomerang: Paddle and a Pint, from Georgia to Florida and Back Again 2019-08-08

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Valdosta, GA, August 8, 2019 — Join us for a fun filled day of paddle racing and leisurely paddling on the idyllic blackwater Withlacoochee River. Plenty of water, no deadfalls, plus shoals! We will paddle from State Line Ramp in Georgia, with staggered starts for turnarounds in Florida at 1, 2, and 3 miles, then back to where we started. Tickets are $20 until October 15th, then $30.

“Sign up to race and get a beer for participating!” said Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie. “Thanks to Georgia Beer Company!”

Vendors vested in conservation or stewardship of our waters already signed up include VSU CORE, Boy Scouts, and TNT Hot Dogs. Nonprofit vendors are free, and $20 fee for for-profit vendors.

“This is good ecotourism for Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia, and Hamilton and Madison Counties, Florida,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Maybe we can get a little friendly state-line rivalry going on!”

McKenzie added, “Also another fun opportunity to wear your Halloween Costumes!”

Sponsors get their name and logo on a banner, in announcements, and in flyers, with various other perks at different levels of sponsorship.

[Simple Flyer]
Simple Flyer

Everything about WWALS Boomerang 2019 is here: Continue reading

Dowling Park River Camp, Suwannee River, Lafayette County, FL 2019-06-20

Some features were surprising at Dowling Park River Camp, during #PaddleGA2019.

[From below]
From below

The bathrooms are on wheels! Continue reading

Videos: Valdosta and Florida Counties about sewage 2019-07-10

Congenial yet sometimes testy, the Florida counties meeting Valdosta about sewage again last night.

The Valdosta catch basin many Floridians thought would be finished by now? Probably by December.

That report the Utilities Manager last time said explained why 8 or 10 million gallons was big enough for a catch basin? No, it doesn’t explain that. Fortunately, Georgia EPD wants to know how many gallons will be needed for how much rain, and apparently won’t issue a permit for the catch basin until there are answers, so maybe we’ll finally find out.

GA-EPD also wanted to know what if the catch basin fills up? Valdosta’s answer: tanker trucks to ship the sewage from the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Or the other direction, if needed. That sounds like a fine idea. Although it doesn’t address the question of what if the heavy rains fall directly on Valdosta and both WTPs fill up.

Meanwhile, the catch basin is just one of a combination of fixes, mostly intended to alleviate infiltration of stormwater into the sewer system, and about 25% of those are done, says Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber.

Will all these projects be finished this year? No.

Floridians offer to get national elected officials to help.

Floridians also emphasized Ecotourism, and asked me to talk about the 350 people who just came through on Paddle Georgia (#PaddleGA2019), the WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Florida to Georgia and back, and the proposed River Camp at the Little River Confluence west of Valdosta, like the ones on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. Valdosta Mayor John Gayle wrote down the date of the WWALS Boomerang (October 26th), and afterwards both Hamilton and Madison Counties promised to help.

Tom Mirti of SRWMD described Florida water quality testing, but didn’t mention that FDEP’s monthly testing isn’t made public until four months later. He did mention that FDEP is now testing for sucralose. Merrillee Malwwitz-Jipson, who requested that, was sitting right there. Thanks to her and Jim Tatum for coming from Florida to this meeting.

Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber said Valdosta was still testing at the state line, which caused me to ask why I didn’t get any results for those locations this year in response to open records requests, then? Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse said that was because they haven’t actually tested at the state line this year. He also complained that he had staff working 100 hours a week. Which makes me wonder whether the city of Valdosta is really giving him what he needs, or whether he hasn’t asked for everything he needs.

Anyway, people were rightly impressed with how much Valdosta has done and with their current plans. However, there is still room for improvement.

Below are Continue reading

Agenda: Florida Counties meet Valdosta about sewage 2019-07-10

Here’s the agenda for tonight’s Special Called Meeting of the Valdosta City Council, with business of Valdosta Utilities presenting to the dozen Florida counties. You may wonder why you haven’t seen this City Council meeting on Valdosta’s website or in the Valdosta Daily Times. Well, Georgia Open Meetings law only requires one notice on the front of the venue and a notice to the newspaper of record 24 hours in advance.

When: 6PM, Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Where: General Purpose Room,
Valdosta City Hall Annex,
300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, GA 31601

Event: facebook

[071019-Special-Called-Meeting-Agenda-0001]
071019-Special-Called-Meeting-Agenda-0001
PDF

Maybe Valdosta should consider that elected official embarassment does not outweigh informing the public.

Thanks to Valdosta City Clerk Teresa Bolden for the agenda. See also Continue reading

Again: Florida Counties meet Valdosta about sewage in rivers and wells 2019-07-10

Update 2019-07-11: WWALS Videos.

Update 2019-07-10: The agenda.

Like three months ago, the dozen downstream Florida counties will meet with Valdosta again tomorrow. It’s a public meeting and anyone may attend. Presumably, like last time, anyone may ask questions.

When: 6PM, Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Where: General Purpose Room,
Valdosta City Hall Annex,
300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, GA 31601

Event: facebook

[Movie: 10% completion of 162 years? --Tom Mirti, SRWMD]
Movie: 10% completion of 162 years? –Tom Mirti, SRWMD

We already knew about this from Continue reading