#07-154 May 28, 2007
Celebrate three Midlands rivers over three days
The Midlands will celebrate a most valuable and treasured community resource - its rivers - from May 31 to June 2. The 3 Days for 3 Rivers celebration is a diverse series of events emphasizing the historic and ongoing connection between the Midlands and its three rivers: the Saluda, the Broad and the Congaree. Over the three-day period, citizens are invited to participate in river cleanups, float trips, and the dedication of the new Congaree River Blue Trail.
"The Midlands has a rich natural and cultural heritage connected with its rivers and this celebration promotes both recreational enjoyment of our rivers and personal responsibility to protect them," said Bill Marshall, River Conservation Program Manager with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "And the new Congaree River Blue Trail, to be dedicated on Saturday, will promote greater awareness and responsible recreational use of the Congaree, one of the richest biological areas in the state, which includes the Congaree National Park and two DNR Heritage Preserves."
For more information: Congaree River Blue Trail -- contact Patrick Moore at (803) 771-7750; Saluda River Sweep - contact Bill Marshall - (803) 734-9096; Broad River Sweep - contact Karen Kustafik - (803) 545-3117; Congaree River Sweep - contact Richard Mikell - (803) 796-4505.
Schedule of events for 3 Days for 3 Rivers:
- Day 1 - Community Pride (Thursday, May 31) - We honor our rivers and community through service. City Year, church groups, Congaree National Park and proud citizens will descend upon the public parks and access areas along the rivers to pick up trash. There couldn't be a better time to show our community pride by removing trash along our rivers with peak recreation season upon us. Groups can participate in the cleanups themselves or assist in logistics such as transport and planning. More information: Bill Marshall - (803) 734-9096.
- Day 2 Fun Friday (June 1) - Enjoy a scenic evening paddle on the Broad River. We'll start at the upstream end of Riverfront Park by the diversion dam and paddle to the Riverfront Park Amphitheatre. Spider lilies should be blooming. Culminate your paddle with live music at the Riverfront Park Amphitheater while learning more about our river resources and their values. More information: Karen Kustafik - (803) 545-3117.
- Day 3 - The Grand Finale (Saturday, June 2) - Celebrate the grand opening of the Congaree River Blue Trail, the nation's first paddle trail to be given the Blue Trail designation by American Rivers. Partnering with American Rivers are Congaree Land Trust, Congaree National Park, Richland County Conservation Commission, SC Department of Natural Resources, Friends of Congaree Swamp, Coastal Conservation League and the River Alliance.
- Ceremonies begin at the West Columbia Riverwalk amphitheatre at 10 a.m.
- Bring your boat and take part in the inaugural, 4-mile paddle down the Congaree River to the Cayce landing following the Blue Trail announcement.
- You can also pitch in at one of three simultaneous river clean-ups (sweeps) for the Saluda, Broad and Congaree on this first day of National River Cleanup Week.
- Return to the West Columbia Amphitheater for live music, food and fun.
3 Days for 3 Rivers is organized by the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, American Rivers, PalmettoPride, Congaree National Park, DNR Scenic Rivers Program, the Coastal Conservation League, and Lower Saluda Scenic River Advisory Council.