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Council Spring and Sandhill Cranes

December 2, 2018 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Eco-A again partners with Quentin Bass, Archaeologist, Heritage Manager and Tribal Liaison for the Cherokee National Forest. His vision, work and building partnerships to develop a Trail of Tears Historic District for the US Forest Service will be a treasured legacy for future generations. 

Quentin Bass at Blythe Ferry Memorial, showing names of people and families removed from the Eastern US on the Trail of Tears

The third event in our series on Cherokee people and landscape takes us to Council Spring, just over the border of Georgia at the Red Clay State Historic Park and to the Blythe Ferry site at the Tennessee River near Cleveland, TN. The Council Spring site is the location of the last Cherokee council held before the forced removal of Cherokee people west of the Mississippi in 1838. This site, barely 1000 feet over the state line, was chosen because the State of Georgia had declared it illegal for Cherokee people to meet in council.

We’ll visit this historic site from 9:30-11:00 AM Sunday morning, then  drive about 20 minutes to Cleveland, TN for lunch at a favorite local eatery. After lunch we’ll drive about 30 minutes to the Blythe Ferry Memorial near a bluff overlook of the Tennessee River. The memorial site is new and very well designed — it truly gives a sense of the personal stories of individuals and families, Native Americans and other Americans too, who were forced to walk away from their homes and homelands. It is a moving experience to spend time there. Quentin Bass is a walking encyclopedia of the people and places that shaped our history and landscape, and his stories bring history to life.

After spending a little time at the Memorial and the River overlook, we’ll visit the nearby Tennessee River floodplains where Sandhill Cranes have gathered for thousands, possibly millions of years on their seasonal treks across North America. Sandhill cranes are ancient birds, dating back 3-5 million years. Early European explorers reported them living as pets or possibly seasonal guests in Native American villages. The cranes arrive from their northern nesting sites in the northern US and Canada, sometimes overwintering in southern TN, and North Georgia, and sometimes wintering in South Georgia and North Florida. Atlanta is directly in their migration route, and in late fall and late winter you can sometimes see hundreds flying in ranks of ever-changing formations or circling high over Atlanta neighborhoods. You will often hear them before seeing them — their call is an ethereal sound like no other.

Cost $45. This outing is limited to 14 attendees.

To register (RSVP) click HERE  – Details and directions sent to registered participants.             

A donation of $15 or more helps support our programs.


December 2, 2018
9:30 am - 5:00 pm