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These mile marker and half-mile marker signs provided by the Alabama Scenic River Trail will be placed along the full 70 miles of Hatchet Creek. Photo by Christa Jennings
The Coosa County Association of Scenic Waterways receives mile marker signs to continue placing along Hatchet Creek for its current project to help those on the creek properly identify where they are along the waterway. Photo submitted
By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
The Coosa County Association of Scenic Waterways is excited to announce that it will be bringing back the beloved Hatchet Creek float that so many enjoyed in past years, with some changes for this year’s returning event.
The CCASW officially announced the fall float event during Rockford’s Spring Fling, and at that event eight individuals registered for the float. Unlike in previous years, this year’s event will be a one-day float, and it is called the Creek Run Festival 2023.
The float will have limited participation, and it will be approximately a five-and-a-half-hour float with participants taking out at Double Bridges in the Richville community. The cost of the float is $30 per participant, or $50 per participant for association membership and participating in the float.
The float is expected to finish at about 1 or 2 p.m., and the association mentioned possibly having live music entertainment at the end.
It was mentioned that it has been three or four years since the last Hatchet Creek Festival float, and the CCASW will continue to discuss details and flesh out plans over its next few meetings.
The Creek Run Festival will be held September 9, rain or shine. To register for participation or for more information, contact CCASW President Sheldon Hutcherson at 256-307-7495 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tied in with the Creek Run Festival, the CCASW is also giving away a Perception Pescador 10.0 kayak, with those who make a donation for tickets being entered to win the giveaway. The 10-foot sit-on-top kayak will be given away at the September 9 float, but entrants do not have to be present to win.
Tickets are available at a rate of one ticket for each $10 donation, or those interested in joining the association and entering the kayak giveaway can get a membership and two tickets into the drawing for $30.
Those who wish to join but are not interested in entering the giveaway can just join the Association of Scenic Waterways for the regular $25 annual membership dues.
Tickets for the kayak giveaway are available at the E-911 office, Coosa County Extension Office in Hanover, “The Coosa County News” office, Triple R Cafe in Rockford, and the County Commission office.
Also during the recent CCASW meeting, the association received mile marker signs from the Alabama Scenic River Trail for its ongoing Hatchet Creek project.
ASRT Waterways Program Manager Shannon M. Taylor attended the meeting to present the mile marker and half-mile marker signs to the group.
Hutcherson said that they will begin installing the mile markers along Hatchet Creek this month. Ultimately, the signs will cover the full 70 miles of the creek, and Taylor said that Hatchet Creek is the only one to have half-mile marker signs, as well.
The whole mile marker signs will be installed from the Clay County line to Lake Mitchell, and the half-mile marker signs will be used from U.S. Highway 231 to Double Bridges in Richville.
Hutcherson said their first priority would be installing signs from U.S. Highway 280 to Double Bridges since that is the primary stretch people float. Once that section is complete, he said they will then work on installing the signs up to the Clay County line and from Double Bridges down to Lake Mitchell.
While that is the association’s primary project currently, Hutcherson said that the group’s other project is working on improving put-in and take-out spots for those kayaking or canoeing Hatchet Creek. He said that is especially a priority project for the Kings Bridge take-out or put-in spot.
Hutcherson was also pleased to report that the association’s membership is growing, and the association is looking into having an evening meeting once per quarter so that more members can attend. The group has been holding morning meetings each month.
Also during the meeting, Sharon Haynes, a voting member of the association who is also the coordinator for the Coosa County Extension Office, said that there is a Resource Conservation and Development, or RC&D, grant for $3,000 to $5,000 that the CCASW may be able to get and use for educational purposes, such as holding two safety courses for kayak and water safety.
Jodi McDade, a member of the association who was present for the meeting, stated that she was “so glad” to see the organization “doing this,” regarding planning for the float and taking on other projects relating to Coosa County’s waterways.
Also during the meeting, the association briefly discussed checking with Coosa River Adventures in Wetumpka, which had some kayaks available that it was giving away to be repurposed. The board agreed to check with the company about getting kayaks to repurpose as planters to place around Rockford and Coosa County as part of a combined beautification project that would also help promote Coosa’s waterways.
Immediately after the meeting Hutcherson contacted Coosa River Adventures and was able to get four kayaks donated for that purpose. One kayak planter is now established and on display next to the mural on the wall of Infinity Coffee Shop/Real Estate on the Alabama Highway 22 East side of the 4-way stop in Rockford.
Residents and passersby are encouraged to keep an eye out and look for the other three kayak planters to be placed in other locations.
As of press time, the next meeting date for the CCASW had not been set, though it will likely meet later this month.
For more information on the Coosa County Association of Scenic Waterways or to join, contact Hutcherson at 256-307-7495.
Individuals can also follow the CCASW on social media at its Facebook page, Coosa County Scenic Waterways, at www.facebook.com/coosawaterways and on Instagram at coosawaterways.