On Valentine’s Day, river enthusiasts from across the nation
showed their love for Georgia’s rivers by signing up for Paddle Georgia 2013,
selling out this summer’s week-long canoe and kayak adventure on the Flint
River in less than 24 hours. "Last year, the trip sold out in a little more than 2 weeks,”
said April Ingle, Executive Director of Georgia River Network (GRN), the
organizer of the event. "This year’s response surpassed all expectations. It’s
a hot ticket – almost as hot as a Rolling Stones concert.” Registration opened at 9 a.m. on Feb. 14 and by the
following morning all the spots on the trip were sold. The trip set for June
15-21 will involve more than 350 paddlers on a 106-mile journey on the Flint
An annual educational adventure and fundraiser for GRN, a
statewide river advocacy group, Paddle Georgia is entering its ninth year. In
the event’s first eight years, organizers have guided more than 2400 paddlers
down more than 800 miles of Georgia rivers, including trips on the Chattahoochee,
Etowah, Ocmulgee, Flint, Coosawattee, Oostanaula, Broad, Savannah, Oconee and
Altamaha rivers. The trips have generated more than $125,000 for river
protection in Georgia.
The 2013 edition will introduce paddlers’ to southwest
Georgia’s unique Flint River. Fed by clear cold springs bubbling up from the
Floridan Aquifer, the lower Flint flows from Lake Blackshear Dam near Warwick,
through Albany and on to Bainbridge and the backwaters of Lake Seminole. Along
the way, paddlers will coast beneath ancient limestone bluffs, cool off in
"blue hole” springs and get a chance to see alligators, otters, bald eagles and
a host of other wildlife.
More than just a canoe trip, Paddle Georgia will include
educational programs on the river’s cultural and natural history, tours of
facilities and historic sites located along the river, nightly games and
entertainment, camping, and even a research program in which participants will
help collect chemical and biological data to give a snapshot of the current
health of the river. On the river by day, at night, the participants will camp
at nearby facilities such as local high schools and will shuttle to and from
the river each day. For additional fees, hot breakfasts and dinners are
provided, along with sack lunches.
In addition to supporting GRN’s efforts to protect Georgia’s
rivers, proceeds from this year’s event will provide funding to the Flint
Riverkeeper, a non-profit organization working to protect the Flint River from
its headwaters near Atlanta to its confluence with the Chattahoochee River in
Through support from sponsors and individuals, GRN offers
"scholarships” for both teachers and students to participate in the trip.
Georgia teachers can participate and receive Georgia Adopt-A-Stream and Project
WET training so that they may include environmental education in their
Oglethorpe Power Corporation; StreamTechs ; Cedar Creek RV
and Outdoor Center; Chambliss, Sheppard, Roland & Baxter LLP; China Clay
Producers Association; Sea to Summit; The Outside World; Cellairis and the Len
Foote Hike Inn. Event partners include the Georgia Canoe Association; Georgia
Adopt–A – Stream; Project WET; and Flint Riverkeeper.
Georgia River Network is a non-profit 501c3 organization
working to ensure a clean water legacy by engaging and empowering Georgians to
protect, restore and enjoy our rivers from the mountains to the coast.
For more information about Paddle Georgia visit the
Paddle Georgia website or contact Joe Cook at 706-409-0128 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
or contact Dana Skelton at 706-549-4508 or email@example.com.