Chickamauga Creek/Camp Jordan Logjam Targeted - Volunteers To Perform Unique Clean-Up Effort

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Cherokee launch site
Cherokee launch site

Outdoor enthusiast Jim Ledbetter has put an all-star team together to help remove logjams this weekend, in the Chickamauga Creek system that borders Camp Jordan Park.

Teaming together on the project at Camp Jordan Park are workers from the City of East Ridge, the South Chickamauga Creek Alliance, the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club, AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry, Big Woody's Tree Service, the American Canoe Club, LL Bean and many volunteers.

Mr. Ledbetter calls the procedure a “unique clean-up effort.”

“For years a major log-jam has developed along this section of creek, making it impossible to paddle the whole section without having to get out and drag your canoe across slippery, deep mud and uneven footing in order to get around the jam,” Mr. Ledbetter said.  “This jam was also the one that a body was found in during the Tennessee River Rescue in October of 2013. While removing this jam, other teams will be working from canoes to clear other low-hanging limbs and logs within the creek that are hazardous to newer paddlers.”

Girish Patel is the Health, Safety, Environmental and Security manager for the Americas and Marco Salenda owns the same title with AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry.

The company has supported the Tennessee River Rescue for more than 20 years and is the major donor in the logjam removal project.

Mr. Patel said the South Chickamauga Creek and the local community are important to the employees at the AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry’s site in Chattanooga.  The creek borders the site near Amnicola Highway and many of the employees are going to donate their time for the project.

“The plans consist of (Big Woody’s Tree Service) cutting up and chipping the logjam trees and spreading the chips in the surrounding wooded area,” Mr. Salenda said. “Removal of the logjam while retaining the chips at the site will maintain the local ecosystem, provide the community with unrestricted access to the creek for canoeing and other recreational activities, and reduce the rate of accumulation of debris in the creek.” 

Sandy Kurtz is the co-chairman of South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance and extremely involved in the logjam removal.

“As more and more people are able to recreate in and along South Chickamauga Creek, they will discover what a wonderful treasure we have and understand the importance of protecting it,” she said. “Thanks to those who will make that more feasible when that logjam disappears.”  

Tower Construction is working to build a new canoe launch and update another at Camp Jordan Park from funding provided by the Lyndhurst Foundation.

“Camp Jordan Park is developing a 2 1/2 mile canoe trail with a constructed put-in and take-out at either end,” Mr. Ledbetter said. “Several organizations have been pooling their resources in an effort to give the community this unique, easily accessible recreational opportunity.” 

East Ridge Parks and Recreation Director Stump Martin said he appreciated all of the help to open up clear paths in the creek.

“This is a great opportunity to help give canoeing enthusiasts a beautiful place to enjoy the creek,” Mr. Martin said. “Those who are joining together to make this possible are passionate about our blueway system. Speaking on behalf of those involved in our parks and recreation department and our city, I just want to thank everyone for their time and funding that is going towards this project. This type effort continues with our plan to make Camp Jordan an even more special destination.”   

Camp Jordan Park is at the confluence of the West Chickamauga Creek that flows from Chickamauga, Ga. where it borders the Chickamauga Battlefield. The historic creek then passes through Fort Oglethorpe before entering Tennessee near Boyd's Speedway and the South Chickamauga Creek, which flows from south of Ringgold, through Graysville and past the Audubon Acres.  

“The canoe trail takeout is being positioned at the confluence, with the trail extending up the West Fork for about 2 1/2 miles,” Mr. Ledbetter said.  “One of the unique features is that the creek meanders in such a way that the put-in and take-out are both on Camp Jordan property and are only a few hundred yards apart. This will allow paddlers to take the paved walking trail back to where they put in.”

Mr. Ledbetter describes the creek itself is a continuous gently flowing southern stream that winds through hardwoods and wetlands, giving the most novice paddlers a feeling of real remoteness

"This creek winds around in such a manner that you can paddle a couple of miles and come back to near where you started," Mr. Ledbetter said.  "The gentle flow through woods and wetlands make it a great place for those new to canoeing to have a rewarding outdoor experience". 

Mr. Ledbetter said this project will be wet, dirty work for those who volunteer.

“But once done this community will have a very accessible venue for the most novice paddlers and a great opportunity for schools and youth groups to see the outdoors as they never have before,” he said.

For more information, contact Jim Ledbetter at 423 322-3691 or Stump Martin at 423 463-4391.

Park and canoe
Park and canoe


Citizens Urged To Practice Safe Burning

 The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry is observing National Fire Prevention Week ( Oct. 8-14 ) by reminding citizens to follow simple safety practices to prevent wildfires. The official start of wildfire season in Tennessee is  Oct. 15 .   “It’s important, and required by law from  October 15, 2017 to May 15, 2018 , that ... (click for more)

Archery And Youth Elk Hunts Conclude; Gun Hunt Begins On Saturday

TWRA’s 2017 archery and youth elk hunts are in the books as the final segment begins  this Saturday  on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.  This final hunt will include gun, muzzleloader or archery equipment for the seven lucky participants who received permits earlier this year.   In its second year, TWRA’s archery only elk hunt ... (click for more)

City Has Apparently Found Buyer For Chattanoogan Hotel

The city of Chattanooga has apparently found a buyer for the Chattanoogan hotel on Broad Street. A city board will meet next Monday to consider several resolutions. One item before the Chattanooga Downtown Redevelopment Corporation is approving the hiring of the Husch Blackwell law firm "as special counsel in connection with the preparation of a sale and purchase agreement ... (click for more)

Logan Kennedy, 18, And Katelyn Woods, 19, Killed In Birchwood House Fire On Sunday

Logan Kennedy, 18, of Birchwood, and Katelyn Woods, 19, from Bradley County, were killed in a house fire in Birchwood on Sunday. Highway 58 volunteer firefighters responded around 6 p.m. to a residential house fire near the 12,100 block of Dolly Pond Road with possible entrapment. According to fire personnel, upon arrival the house was fully involved.   After the ... (click for more)

Congress Needs To Get Down To Business And The News Media Report Facts

"Pettiness" seems to be the driver of the news continuing into its third week.  When will it stop? I want to make it clear to my friends, this country and abroad, that I have called the President much worse words than "moron" to my best friend, so much worse that I am sure they would not be printed by AOL in the interest of acceptability.  I make no apologies. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What A Human Can Do

To play football at Gainesville State in Texas you gotta’ be a tough kid. You also must be a convicted felon. Truth is Gainesville State is a reform school for “troubled youth.” They don’t play any home games and, when they travel, the only crowd that comes with the Tornadoes are 12 deputy sheriffs. Several years ago they wiggled onto Grapevine Faith’s schedule. The two teams ... (click for more)