By Doug Alderson, Outreach & Advocacy Director, Apalachicola Riverkeeper
On a cool Saturday morning May 8th, fifteen people gathered at Chattahoochee’s River Landing Park for a historical tour and cleanup sponsored by Apalachicola Riverkeeper. Pam Medley, President of Chattahoochee Main Street, welcomed the group. Historian Dale Cox was under the weather and couldn’t make it to lead the tour, so I filled in, aided by the excellent interpretive signs around the park that Cox had a hand in developing.
From early Native American villages and earthen mounds to a key First Seminole War battle to a thriving river port during the steamboat era, Chattahoochee’s River Landing Park has a rich history. A large Native American platform mound, built several hundred years ago when a thriving village existed here, prominently stands along the waterfront, and at low water levels, the remains of riverboats can be seen along the shore. The tour was especially relevant for Nona Elder, a descendent of Muscogee Creek people who once lived along the river. She came with her friendly lab, Angel. Other special guests included Angie Riviere, coordinator for Outdoor Afro Tallahassee, and Linda Sapp of FAMU’s Cooperative Extension Program.
After the tour, everyone in the group pitched in for a cleanup of the park which we do every two or three months. This time, however, our trash bags were only partially filled as litter was not nearly as plentiful as in times past. There were no complaints and we certainly hope the trend continues!
Since most in the group had been vaccinated, we enjoyed lunch afterwards at Steamboats seafood restaurant in downtown Chattahoochee, recently under new ownership.