On Saturday morning, May 8, 15 people gathered at Chattahoochee’s River Landing Park for a historical tour and cleanup sponsored by Apalachicola Riverkeeper.
Pam Medley, the president of Chattahoochee Main Street, welcomed the group to the park before Medley had to rush off to a family gathering later that day.
While the tour was scheduled to be led by local author and historian Dale Cox, but Cox was unable to attend due to a personal complication, so the tour was instead led by Doug Alderson, the outreach and advocacy director of Apalachicola Riverkeeper.
Aided by the interpretive signs that have been placed around the park (historical signs that Cox had a hand in developing), Alderson led the tour through the history of the region – starting with early Native American villages and earthen mounds.
Tour-takers learned about the region’s importance to the First Seminole War battle, and ventured throughout history to Chattahoochee’s later existence as a thriving river port during the steamboat era.
“Chattahoochee’s River Landing Park has a rich history,” says Alderson.
That rich history is occasionally visible, such as the large Native American platform mound (built several hundred years ago) that can be spotted at the park, and when the river is low, visitors can see the stands that were built along the waterfront during the Apalachicola River’s steamboat era.
One tour attendee, Nona Elder, says that the tour was especially relevant to her.
Elder is a descendent of the Muscogee Creek people who once lived along the river.
On May 8, Elder took part in the tour while being accompanied by her friendly pet lab, Angel.
Other special guests included Angie Riviere, the coordinator for Outdoor Afro Tallahassee, and Linda Sapp of Florida A&M University’s Cooperative Extension Program.
After the tour, members of the group pitched in for a litter cleanup of the park.
The Apalachicola Riverkeepers arrange litter cleanups at River Landing Park every two or three months and have, in the past, cleaned up several full bags of trash from the park facilities and waterfront.
This time, however, Alderson reported that the volunteers’ trash bags were only partially filled, as litter was not nearly as plentiful as in times past.
After the tour and cleanup, the group migrated to Steamboats, a local seafood restaurant in downtown Chattahoochee, for a group lunch to end the day.
Doug Alderson – Mail@prioritynews.net
Photos Courtesy of Doug Alderson