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Chattahoochee River Trails with Sally Bethea

October 17 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am

This event is full – now taking waitlist. This walk has proven to be very popular. If there is enough interest we will be offering another walk with Sally Bethea in the Spring. Stay tuned for details!

“Every time I walk this path, I see something that I have never seen before, or see things in an entirely new way—from a different perspective. Close observation of nature can bring so many rewards.” – Sally Bethea

Join us for a very special walk in the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area with Sally Bethea, former Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and environment protector extraordinaire!

Well known for her work in founding and leading metro Atlanta’s first riverkeeper non-profit, Sally spent decades working to prevent pollution and other damaging impacts to the Chattahoochee River, and raised awareness to the degree that today nearly all in our region understand the importance of water quality and the critical need to protect Atlanta’s largest water resource and the fragile watersheds that support it.

After retiring from a fully engaging career (while raising her two sons), Sally has had more time in the last few years to focus more deeply on  nature’s rhythms and details observed in river corridor forests, as well as reflect on past riverkeeping experiences. The result is her manuscript Reflections at Cabin Creek, a dual narrative that takes us from delicate crane fly orchids and chimney-building crayfish to the big picture politics that often decides the fate of rivers and natural places. Her text is richly seasoned with original, wonderful descriptions and insights, and Sally will share some of these with us as we walk along some of the trails that inspired her writing. 

Limit 15 participants.

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

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

Excerpts from Preface, Reflections at Cabin Creek 

“I grew up beside two small streams that converged behind my home on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia in the 1950s and 60s. These clear, clean waterways, which flowed through the large, wooded lots in our mid-twentieth century neighborhood, were full of minnows, crayfish and snakes. But, as a young girl, I wondered where the water went, when it left our yard.

One summer, my sister, a friend and I followed the unnamed creek down through woods and neighbors’ backyards—but not as far as its confluence with Nancy Creek, which flows into Peachtree Creek, and then the Chattahoochee River, as I learned years later. Like many children, I loved playing in the streams and falling asleep to the soothing sound of flowing water outside my bedroom window and the hooting owls in the trees above the streams: my pocket of nature. I was a city girl with a love of the natural world and a predilection for adventure, both of which have stayed with me all my life.”

“When my two sons were in middle and elementary school, and I was in my early forties, I had the chance to become the first “riverkeeper” for the Chattahoochee, helping establish a nonprofit organization devoted to the protection of this waterway that sustains five million people with water to drink, opportunities to fish and swim, and places to renew their spirits. An essential part of that work is safeguarding the tributaries that flow into the Chattahoochee, including those streams behind my childhood home. For two decades, I worked with a wide array of people to save our river—a task that seems endless, but is gratifying. We made real progress together, for which I am very grateful.”

“Retirement has been a time of reflection, a chance to finally slow down and pay more attention to the world around me, especially the beauty and detail that I often rushed past during the years that I was mothering and riverkeeping. “

I found my own place to return to and reflect on a trail that leads along a creek and through an urban, old-growth forest to the Chattahoochee. For a year, I walked this path, recording my findings, as I learned how to be more attentive—how to “adopt the pace of nature,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson counseled.”

“These walks through the seasons never failed to teach me about nature and myself. They also summoned memories of the adventures, people, challenges, victories and joyous celebrations that illustrate the effort to save one of the most important rivers in the Southeast.”

 – Sally Bethea


October 17
9:00 am - 11:30 am