In the early spring of 2011, I contacted Chuck Southerland, in Hawkinsville. I asked if he would help me organize a paddle on the Ocmulgee River, in Hawkinsville, GA. We selected Oct. 7-9, 2011. This was the first time, the Georgia Canoe Association and The Georgia Conservancy partnered on a paddle event, and with tremendous help from leaders in Hawkinsville and Pulaski County, had a wonderful paddle and a very interesting, informative presentation on Saturday night.
Friday, we paddled from Dykes Landing to Mile Branch Landing, about 14 BEAUTIFUL miles. On Saturday, we paddled from Mile Branch Landing to Sandy Hammock Landing, another 14+ mile paddle. This is truly a GA treasure! Pulaski County allowed about 60 paddlers to camp at Mile Branch Landing and Park.
Saturday night‘s event featured presentations from Chris Watson, National Parks Conservation Association, Fuller Callaway, GA Conservancy, Dr. Johnny Bemvey, GA Conservancy Executive Board Member, Dan MacIntyre, GA Canoeing Association, Brooks Bailey, sole Pulaski County Commissioner, and was facilitated by Karen Bailey, Better Hometown Director. The focus of the discussion was the 54 mile Ocmulgee Blue Way. It was a lively and informative night!
I’d like to express a very special thanks to Chuck Southerland, Hawkinsville / Pulaski Rivers Alive Director and paddle organizer, Karen Bailey, Better Hometown Director, Karen Hunt, GA Rivers Alive Board Member, and Charlotte Gillis, National Parks Conservation Association, for their many months of dedicated work to make this event such a success! Also, Many thanks to Brooks Bailey, sole Pulaski County Commissioner and Jerry Murkerson, Hawkinsville City Manager, for their many efforts and support of this event. And a MAJOR thanks and appreciation to all of the wonderful folks in this area, for being so hospitable to all the paddlers, as we enjoyed your lovely part of GA.