The first of three radio interviews yesterday about the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest was at 7:30 AM on the Scott James show, 92.1 FM.
Scott James will be the M.C. of the Contest, which is this Saturday, 7-9 PM, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601.
Tickets to listen are available, $10 online or $12 at the door (children under 12 free).
For VIP tables send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m pretty sure M.C. Scott James promised to keep the weather fine this Saturday evening. We will have a couple of tents for the M.C. and the judges.
After Scott James and I talked about that, I asked, “Please bring your own chairs and tables. We will have some, but if you can bring your own, that’s great.”
We also talked about Current Situation of Water Quality Testing, Suwannee River Basin 2020-08-02, WWALS Summary of FDEP chemical and biological tracers, Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers 2020-08-05, and Troupville River Park, Outings: bike and paddle, full moons, and cleanups.
Scott James complimented WWALS and Suwannee Riverkeeper for helping keep our waters clean, “For not just us, but those that receive them to our south as well.” I thanked him, said many of us had been working on that, and held up the above Situation document.
“We compliment the City of Valdosta for cleaning up its act,” I added.
“Thank you,” said the Mayor, and continued: “Shockingly, you were right. The more we test, the more we know. The more we know, the more we can identify. The more we can identify, we can all concentrate our efforts on some of the remaining problems. We were the real problem for awhile.”
“And we hope you’re not again,” I answered.
The Mayor, “I hope never again. But I can’t say never because there’s always going to be a grease trap, or something. There’s always going to be FOG, which is Fats, Oils, and Grease, backing up. We fight that every single day.” He elaborated more on that.
Holding up the above Summary document, I remarked, “In the matchup between Human DNA and Ruminant DNA, the Ruminants are winning.“ Ruminants are animals that chew their cud, and the only ones numerous enough are cattle. Fortunately many of the owners of the cattle in Brooks County, Georgia, are working on fixing the situation. “The more testing, the more we find out…. They didn’t know until I brought it to them. But then they wanted to be part of the solution.”
Scott James noted that when you support WWALS, it goes towards testing, and bunch of other stuff.
Scott James said the Troupville River Camp was one of those projects.
He remarked that it’s grown to be Troupville River Park, and might even “could blossom into something closer to a state park.” Lowndes County does not have a state park, which seems odd for an MSA area and the first county on entering Georgia on I-75. “We would love that kind of recreational activity to take a foothold here, and it’s quite a possibility.”
This would be at the site of old Troupville: head west from the Mall across I-75 and the Withlacoochee River, turn left where you see Val-Tech Road, and that takes you to Troupville Boat Ramp. South from there to the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River 74 acres are for sale by a third-generation landowner. Combined with the existing VLPRA park there, that would make about 123 acres of parkland, with plenty of room for the River Camp, hiking and biking trails, Disc Golf, and maybe an outfitter, with most of the area remaining a nature preserve. So far we have involved the local Chamber, Lowndes County, Valdosta, Parks and Rec., Tourism, Development Authority, SGRC, SRWMD, ASA Engineering, McCall Architects, two VSU Geology professors, an archeologist from Tallahassee, and I’m probably forgetting somebody. “Don’t worry, we’ll be inviting Brooks County, Madison, Hamilton, Cook, and Colquitt.” This will be the first River Camp like the five on the Suwannee River in Florida. One of the participants is the inventor of the River Camp idea, Edwin McCook of SRWMD.
It’s a fundraiser for WWALS, and a fun outdoor music festival! First headliner Dirty Bird and the Flu will play for half an hour, then each of the three judges will play a song: they’re all songwriters, too. Then the finalists will play for the judges and the audience, and the judges will pick winners, from the $300 First Prize on down. We have a song about the Okefenokee Swamp, one about the Withlacoochee River, and three about the Suwannee River.
Food will be available from Rico’s Tacos, and drinks from The Pour House.
In the meantime we will have talks about some of the projects and advocacy previously mentioned. Each elected official present will get three minutes to speak; just remember it’s a fun festival. Feel free to ask questions.
There will be an online silent auction, thanks to the many donors of items to auction.
We will be selling kayak raffle tickets. The winner of the Emotion Stealth 11 with Carlisle paddle will be selected December 12, 2020, but we will have kayak raffle tickets at the Art Park Saturday, or you can buy them online.
At the Art Park we will be requiring masks when you go up to our information tables, etc. But chairs and tables will be spaced out, so you won’t need a mask at your own table with your own group.
We will have a deputy to be sure people don’t wander in who haven’t been screened for fever by our infrared thermometer.
The Mayor seconded those ideas, saying masks had already produced a local decline in virus cases.
He added hand washing. We will also have hand sanitizing stations.
Once you’re on the water, it’s no problem keeping far enough apart. It’s just the shuttle we can’t do: cramming people into a vehicle to go from the takeout back to the put-in before the paddle.
But no shuttle worries on our Bike and Paddle Suwannee River, Hal W. Adams Bridge, Saturday, August 29, 2020,. The river bends, and there’s a straight road between the ends, for easy biking. Plus an option for overnight camping.
Every full moon we paddle out on Banks Lake just west of lakeland, GA, to see th sun set and the moon rise, plus bats and maybe a gator. Our next one is the Full Corn Moon paddle, Wednesday, September 2, 2020. Then there’s the Full Harvest Moon paddle, Thursday, October 1, 2020. October actually has two full moons, the second on Halloween; stay tuned for our plans for that one.
We’re doing a cleanup at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp in Berrien County, 9 AM to noon, Saturday, September 12, 2020.
Meanwhile, in Valdosta, we’re doing a cleanup on Twomile Branch, Sugar Creek, and probably Onemile Branch on Saturday, August 29, 2020. Yes, the same day as the Bike and Paddle; I think I was the clever one who double-booked. Stay tuned for more details on that cleanup.
Thanks to Georgia Beer Company for being our top tier sponsor for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.
For much more about the Songwriting Contest, follow this link: https://wwals.net/pictures/2020-08-22–songwriting/
Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 2020-08-18
Video by John S. Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS).
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!