November 17, 2023 – by Dani Davis
Longtime supporter and board president, David Hilton, joined students, Makinlee Skipper, Sara Catherine Brown and Jared Holcomb, and Dr. Jeff Bodart for a day of cleanups along the Chipola River in Marianna earlier this month. The team visited three popular areas for accessing the Chipola to work together on clearing these spaces of litter. The Chipola River is a major tributary of the Apalachicola River. At Magnolia Landing, where the team began, David reflects, “In no time at all, buckets were filled with food wrappers, cups, bottles, cans and, of course cigarette filters. It was a cool, sunny morning and the parking area and riverbank were quickly cleaned.”
The group traveled north to their second stop at Yancy Landing, where they worked quickly to clear the boat ramp of trash. While there, the students spoke with a large group of paddlers from Alabama about the work that they were doing, which the paddlers expressed their gratitude for. After buckets were filled and the landing was clean, the team headed to Spring Creek Park – a popular spot for tubers looking to float Spring Creek. David notes, “The parking area was littered with a similar assortment of trash, but also included packaging for flotation rings and mats and bait cups.” The team worked hard to finish the cleanup and keep trash from entering the Chipola and Apalachicola Rivers.
Future cleanups in partnership with the Chipola College Science Club are planned for April and October and are open to the public. David says, “Take the opportunity to meet some amazing young people and enjoy a morning of volunteering and making a difference.”
A big Thank You to Dr. Jeff Bodart, Physics professor and faculty sponsor of the Science Club, and the Chipola College Students for their efforts.
Dr. David Hilton retired from Chipola College in 2021 as Dean of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and currently serves as Board President of Apalachicola Riverkeeper. David and Renea are from Jackson County, and enjoy spending time on, in or near the water.