The 2.5 mile whitewater course in Columbus has attracted attention from the Georgia Conservancy, a nonprofit organization working to protect Georgias natural resources.
About 90 members from Columbus and across the state will be shooting the rapids Saturday on the Chattahoochee River as part of The Heartland Rivers of Georgia Paddle Series.
For the Conservancy, its a chance to really promote Columbus as a whitewater destination to our members statewide, said Bryan Schroeder, stewardship and outreach director. We got about 90 folks registered to come down and experience the river for the first time.
The trip on the Chattahoochee is called Georgia Conservancy Whitewater Day. It is sponsored by TSYS, Mildred Miller Fort Foundation, Seaboard Advisors, Uptown Columbus, SweetWater Brewing Company, Whitewater Express and the Loft.
Schroeder said there are many rivers in the state that are greatly underutilized. Why drive to North Carolina or Tennessee for a weekend on the river, he asked? The Ocmulgee, Flint, Chattahoochee, and Altamaha rivers provide incredible outdoor recreational opportunities. We want to work with local civic groups to help people use these rivers as eco-tourist destinations.
Pierre Howard, former lieutenant governor of Georgia and president of the Georgia Conservancy, said removal of the Eagle and Phenix and City Mills dams in Columbus is one of the most important efforts ever undertaken in the state to improve the health of a river system. When I was lieutenant governor, I learned first hand that Columbus has visionary political and business leadership, Howard said in a statement.
Howard also noted the Chattahoochee River and the local economy will be big winners as a result of the whitewater course. Columbus will be one of the premier whitewater destinations in the nation, and the Georgia Conservancy is proud to return to the city this summer to celebrate this conservation victory, he said.
After the trip down the river, spokesman Brian Foster said Generation Green, young professionals from the organization, will host Save Water, Drink Beer, at the Loft on Broadway. The event features discussions about statewide water conservation.
The organizations nine-part paddle series will also include outings on the Flint, Ocmulgee, Ogeechee, Altamaha, Savannah and Chattahoochee rivers. On Oct. 18-20, the Conservancy will be in Columbus for its second annual flat water paddle on the river.