by Robin Kemp

If you care about where your water comes from in Clayton County, you might want to attend the Clayton County Federation of Democratic Women’s online meeting on March 23 at 7 p.m. Their special guest will be Clayton County Water Authority General Manager Bernard Franks, who worked his way up the ranks over 20 years from water service mechanic.

He’ll explain what CCWA’s impact is on the environment, as well as CCWA’s recreational, community, and small business offerings.

Participants can e-mail questions in advance to the Federation’s vice president, Amaris Cummings, at claytoncountyfdw@gmail.com. Register for the event online at https://bit.ly/3tyj9eO via Zoom.

Get to know your water

Newman Wetlands Center is one example of a CCWA recreational facility worth knowing about. Besides giving residents of all ages a great nature walk, the wetlands themselves are a major stopping point for migratory birds. The wetlands also serve as a demonstration project for natural water filtration.

Kids get up close and personal with a resident of the Newman Wetlands Center (Photo: CCWA)

Lake Shamrock/Blalock, and Smith Reservoir also offer residents a place to fish, picnic, or paddle. Daily passes are $5 a day or $30 all season for Clayton County residents. Shoal Creek Reservoir is open to season pass holders for limited boat fishing.

CCWA lakes and reservoirs offer Clayton County residents some quiet time in nature. (Photo: CCWA)

CCWA also offers limited season archery deer hunting permits in June, and special wildlife viewing permits for E.L. Huie Holding Ponds and the lakes and reservoir ($25 regular viewing permit, $40 for guided tour of private areas for wildlife and birding photography).

A conceptual image of a future Flint River Trail (Image: Finding the Flint)

You also can learn about the Flint River, which is the county’s major drinking water source, by visiting Finding the Flint at findingtheflint.org. The project is a joint effort started by American Rivers, The Conservation Fund, Aerotropolis Atlanta, now involving numerous community stakeholders. Finding the Flint wants to make Clayton County and Southern Crescent residents more aware of the hidden headwaters they drink and is working on a Flint River Trail that would reconnect people to the river. Writer Hannah Palmer, who grew up in Forest Park and Mountain View, has created a Finding the Flint tour. Check out The Clayton Crescent’s 2020 podcast with her for details.

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