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Posted: August 4, 2012 5:25 p.m.

Unveil Yellow River’s hidden gems

Residents interested in experiencing wildlife can participate in the event "Unveiling the Hidden Gems of Metro Atlanta" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept.15.

Organized by the Georgia River Network in alliance with the Yellow River Preservation and Conservation, South River Watershed Alliance and Rivers Alive, the event offers river cleanup training and a natural history float as residents paddle on the Yellow River in Porterdale.

Participants can choose to do either of the two activities. The river cleanup involves learning how to organize a community river cleanup as participants paddle the Yellow River.

The natural history float consists of viewing the wildlife that inhabit the river, learning about water quality monitoring and hearing a local historian's stories about the river. Along with a historian, a naturalist and a trainer from Georgia Adopt-a-Stream will guide the activity.

Residents interested can go to yellowrivercleanup.eventbrite.com or go to garivers.org and scroll down to find a link to the event. The cost is $35 for lunch, boat rental and insurance, and only $15 for lunch and insurance.

The same event will also be held at South River in Ellenwood from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 8.
The organization was started to raise awareness for the Yellow and South Rivers.

"We have been focusing a lot of attention on Chattahoochee River. The South River and the Yellow River haven't really been getting the attention in the positive way. They're both beautiful rivers, but largely forgotten," said Gwyneth Moody, the community programs coordinator of Georgia River Network.

"I think it will definitely increase awareness of the rivers themselves and efforts of restoration. We hope with the given increase of awareness, people want to give time, energy and financial aid to help the South River so it can be swimmable and have no issues with water quality."

The Yellow River Preservation and Conservation, founded by Covington and Porterdale residents, is a partner with the Georgia River Network. Founded in 2011, the organization works to preserve and conserve the Yellow River.

The organization welcomes volunteers for the event to help with preparing the lunches, helping with the boat shuttles, getting flyers out to local businesses and contacting local representative to invite them to the event.

Interested volunteers can contact Tonya Bechtler at tonyabechtler@gmail.com for more information.

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