Paddlers from the first Hidden Gems Paddle
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Archer Daniels Midland Company recently donated $1,400 to Golden Triangle Resource Conservation Development Council. The donation was used to help present the first annual Hidden Gems Paddle on the Ochlockonee River.
“It was a magnificent day. The weather was perfect, the water level was up, and the paddlers were enthusiastic,” said Rhonda Gordon of the Golden Triangle RC&D. The Golden Triangle RC&D partnered with the Ochlockonee River Water Trails group and Georgia River Network to present the paddle on Saturday, November 14, 2015.
Almost 70 participants, presenters and volunteers joined us to experience and celebrate the beautiful tea-stained waters of the Ochlockonee. The paddlers enjoyed presentations along the way that included information about river cleanups, water quality monitoring, cultural history, conservation efforts, event partnering organizations, native/invasive plant species and wildlife. Gary Asbell, musician from Thomas County, played his guitar and sang songs about the Ochlockonee River as paddlers made their way from Hadley Ferry landing in Grady County.
The paddlers enjoyed lunch on a sandbar about halfway through the trip and were delighted to see the fish and freshwater shrimp that paddlers Michael Wolfe and Camm Swift were able to seine along the way. The trip was slightly over 4 miles and the paddlers took their canoes and kayaks out at Dickey Ferry landing in Grady County.
The day ended with dinner around a roaring fire at Birdsong Nature Center with old friends and new acquaintances. The Golden Triangle RC&D, the Ochlockonee River and Water Trails, and Georgia River Network are grateful to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and the many other individuals and organizations that helped to make this paddle a success.
The donation was given through ADM Cares. ADM Cares is a social investment program that directs funds to initiatives and organizations that drive meaningful social, economic and environmental progress worldwide. The program comprises three distinct focus areas: supporting the responsible development of agriculture, improving the quality of life in ADM communities and fostering employee giving and volunteer activities.
Local ADM (Golden Peanut) staff: George Bates, Lori Bunch (standing) and Loretta White (seated)