Jasper Hardware and Hometown Handyman donated prizes for the WWALS Watershed Coalition's Alapaha River Water Trail logo contest held Saturday, March 14, at the Gaskins Forest Education Center near Alapaha Ga.

Although invited, no Hamilton County students participated in the contest. The winners came from Tift and Lanier County high schools and they received cash and other prizes for their logo submissions. 

First place winner was Maya Turner, a senior at Tift County High School, who took home $100 and two admission tickets to Wild Adventures Theme Park for her winning logo design.

Second Place winner was Taarna Jones, a senior at Lanier County High school, who received $50 and a $50 gift card to Camping World Retail Store, Lake Park Ga, and a Browning Buck cap from Jasper Hardware.

Third Place winner, Glenda Velasquez from Tift County High School, was unable to attend the event, but she won $50 and a Browning Buck cap. Codi Sadler, a senior from Lanier County High School, won Honorable Mention for his entry and received a rugged military style backpack from Jasper Hardware.

The top four winners were chosen from 21 entries and the judging was difficult because of the variety and creativity of the logo designs. A big thank you goes out to all the participating students.

WWALS would like to thank teachers Sylvia Ragan, Lanier County HIgh School, and Meredith Osmus, Tift County High School for facilitating their students' participation in the contest. As the winning students discovered, it pays to participate!

Thank you also to our contest judges, John Fitton from Lakeland-Lanier Chamber of Commerce; Dennis Price from Hamilton County Tourist Development Council; Julie Bowland, Art Professor at Valdosta State University, and Christopher Graham, WWALS ARWT committee chair.

Many thanks to our generous contest sponsors who donated prizes for the winners. They include Wild Adventures Theme Park, Camping World Retail Store, Jasper Hardware, and WWALS members Dr. Bret Wagenhorst, Chris Mericle-the Hometown Handyman, Dave Hetzel and Garry Gentry.

The winning logo will be on informational brochures about the Alapaha River Water Trail. It will appear on the WWALS ARWT website, and it will be on information kiosks that will be placed at access points along the Alapaha River. The brochures will be distributed at welcome stations, various tourist attractions and chambers of commerce.

About the Alapaha River Water Trail

The Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT) runs 125 miles on the scenic 202-mile blackwater Alapaha River, from US 82 east of Alapaha, Ga. in Berrien County, through Atkinson, Lanier, Lowndes and Echols counties, to the confluence of the Alapaha River with the Suwannee River in Hamilton County. It also includes many lakes, ponds and swamps that are boatable year-round.

In June 2014, WWALS received a grant of $500 from Georgia River Network to print brochures, maps and cards for this Water Trail. WWALS is grateful to acknowledge an additional $250 from the Hamilton County Tourist Development Council (TDC) and $500 from the Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority, as well as letters of support from the TDC, from the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce, and from the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority, plus a resolution by the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners. These ARWT sponsors are listed online and in a draft brochure that was distributed at the conference.

The Alapaha River Water Trail will be recognized as an established water trail by Georgia River Network. It will help guide people who want to enjoy the natural beauty of the Alapaha River and outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing, hiking and camping, but who need more information to make their trip a success. The Water Trail information will include items such as a water trail map, access points, miles between access points, interesting features of the river, permitted camping areas, local outfitters, safe water levels, and safety and river etiquette tips.

Much of this material is already prototyped online at http://www.wwals.net/maps/alapaha-water-trail/


WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit citizen advocacy organization working toward conservation of the Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems watershed in south Georgia and north Florida.

Most WWALS events are free. All we ask is that you are a current member of WWALS Watershed Coalition. If not, it's easy to join online today at http://www.wwals.net/donations/.


Logo Contest Coordinator: Deanna Mericle, mericle.deanna@gmail.com

WWALS ARWT Committee Chair: Chris Graham, protectiongeorgiawatershed@gmail.com, 229-588-1392

WWALS President: John S. Quarterman, wwalswatershed@gmail.com, 229-242-0102


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