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82-mile paddling trek raises money for rivers
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Lula residents Jim and Debbie Fountain are planning to paddle 82 miles this summer as part of the annual Georgia River Network’s Paddle Georgia 2010 event.

The canoe and kayak adventure will take them down Northeast Georgia’s Broad and Savannah rivers, and each year brings together more than 300 people from across the Southeast and the country for a week-long journey. This year, paddlers launch from Franklin Springs on June 19 and complete their trip June 25 in downtown Augusta.

Fashioned after the annual Bicycle Ride Across Georgia, Paddle Georgia is more than just a canoe and kayak trip. The event will include educational programs on the rivers’ cultural and natural history, tours of facilities and historic sites located along the river, nightly games and entertainment, and even a research program in which participants will help collect chemical and biological data to give a snapshot of the health of the Broad and Savannah.

In the past, paddlers participating in the trip have ranged in age from 4 to 74, and family groups are common. The trip costs about $59 per day, per person, which includes all meals and registration fees.

The trip also serves as a fundraiser for Georgia River Network and local watershed groups, including the Broad River Watershed Association and Savannah Riverkeeper. For more information, visit www.garivers.org.

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