Hooch is clean at the Bend, says Friends president
From Staff Reports
Glenn Flake, president of Friends of the Chattahoochee Bend State Park, recently told the Newnan Kiwanis Club that tests have determined the water is safe except for about a month out of the year when farmers use potassium on the watershed.
There are signs with test results posted at the park showing the water is fine, “but we don’t talk about it much because everybody wants to argue about it,” Flake said.
“So far we have had 104,000 visitors this year.”
He said he is excited to see what the numbers are at the end of the fiscal year.
“We figure the average visitor and next of kin spend $64. That’s $6.5 million in community impact in gas, food. I’ll bet the gas station across from Powers’ Crossroads is making a fortune,” he continued.
“The state built a boat ramp big enough to launch the Queen Mary (huge concrete slabs 15 feet into the water), but didn’t notice there were rocks in the way, so it’s limited to jon boats, kayaks and canoes,” Flake said.
Because of budget cuts in the Department of Natural Resources, the park depends heavily on volunteers. “Ten miles of hiking trails were built by 450 volunteers,” he said. There is an email database of over 800 people who have volunteered at least once.
The park employs four staffers, one ranger and an assistant ranger.
“One is there all the time. Both are armed with 9 mm guns and we have had no problems,” he said.
Future dreams include a junior ranger committee for children ages 6 to 12 to and an interpretative ranger who knows the history, flora and fauna of the park.
“We hope to raise money for field trips for school children,” he said.
The park has been open for one year.