Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012
On Saturday, July 28, 2012, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area hosted the Fifth Annual Summer Splash. Co-sponsored by the City of Sandy Springs, this annual event creates a safe, family atmosphere for first-time paddlers to get out and enjoy a scenic six-mile float in the middle of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Over a hundred park staff and volunteers facilitated a pleasant, leisurely paddle for 551 participants in 283 kayaks, canoes, and rafts, from the put-in at Morgan Falls Dam to the take-out at Powers Island. At the end of the float, paddlers enjoyed a barbecue with live music, face painting, and a park-provided shuttle back to their vehicles. "This is a great opportunity for people from all over the Atlanta metro area to get out and enjoy their national parks," said Superintendent Patty Wissinger.
In addition to staff from Chattahoochee River NRA, NPS rangers from Martin Luther King, Jr. NHS and Kennesaw Mountain NBP helped keep paddlers safe, in cooperation with the Sandy Springs Fire and Police Departments and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The day ended successfully without injuries or incidents, despite the high temperature of 96 degrees and a maximum relative humidity of 87%. Although this was the fifth time the park has hosted the Summer Splash, it was the first year that the Incident Command System (ICS) was used to manage the event, providing crucial practice for the park's fledgling type 3 incident management team.