Howdy all! Hold on to your seats, because this latest edition of the Georgia update is an action-packed, white knuckle thriller and we want you along for the ride. These last six weeks have flown by, but we’re happy with the wind in our hair down here. As they say, idle hands are the devils playground and cleanliness is next to godliness, so we’ve been keeping ourselves fresh and busy.
First, the surveys. Our work has taken us all over the great expanse of North Georgia, from Lanier on the east side to Allatoona and Carter’s on the west, and let us be the first to tell you, it’s all good! Heavy rains over the summer have made the lakes full (and in some places above full), keeping the boaters a’floating, the swimmers a’bobbing, and the fishermen a’reeling and we are so lucky as to talk to all of ’em. The past three hitches have only served to hone our surveying skills, and we’re looking to have perfected the art by the end of the season.
In the middle of July we got a break from surveying – the whole crew chose to wander for a spell. Vanessa headed to the Smokies to raft down some whitewater, hike those mystic mountains, and live the rustic cabin life. Bud headed up to good ol’ Ohio to spend some time with family and friends. Bree took Daytona Beach by storm and chilled out on the beach like nobody’s business. Erin, Tishena and Clayton took a long drive and ended up in the Ozarks of Arkansas and coincidentally ran into a bunch of other ACE/VUS folks. LNT Training, swimming and good hang outs ensued.
Back to business – the conservation work, the butter to our bread, the jewel in our crown. We’ve been having a blast and making the earth a happier, healthier place in whatever ways we can. Vanessa has been working in two wonderful places, continuing her work at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and more recently the wonderful Unity Gardens of Cumming, GA. Tishena and Bree have been putting in major hours at the Sawnee Mountain Preserve park, a beautiful local park. They’re becoming masters of the trail and skilled hands with pick-mattocks and McCleods. Bud and Erin took to the waters of Lake Lanier on kayaks, and picked up the trash of some of its less respectful guests. The whole crew recently lent its collective muscle to the American Chestnut Project, over at Allatoona Lake, an experimental planting of hybridized American Chestnut trees, the once iconic and now nearly extinct tree that once dominated the southern landscape. These trees can grow to an immense size, but are very delicate in their youth – the GA crew made war on the weeds that threatened these baby trees in the hopes of a successful reintroduction of a legendary symbol of the South. The living ain’t easy, the work is tough stuff, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
And what have we been doing when we’re not chatting up the lake-going public or digging in the dirt, you ask? Why, we’ve been enjoying the amenities of the great state of Georgia! We’ve been exploring the cities, the mountains, rivers, lakes, golf courses – you name it, we’re trying to find it. It’s been a wonderful 3 hitches and we’re looking to make the most of the few remaining. Keep in touch! You’ll hear from us again soon.