Georgia River Network recently presented Georgia Power with their Corporate Champion Award in recognition of the company’s longstanding partnership with the environmental nonprofit. For almost two decades, Georgia Power has supported Georgia River Network and its mission to protect the state’s rivers and connect Georgians to the outdoors.
“We’re humbled by this recognition and the opportunity to sponsor several of Georgia River Network’s environmental initiatives that have proven to be instrumental in preserving Georgia’s waterways and promoting outdoor adventures for diverse groups,” said Scott Hendricks, Manager of Water and Natural Resources at Georgia Power.
The partnership dates back to 2005 when the nonprofit was working to establish its flagship ‘Paddle Georgia’ project, which involved finding a corporate sponsor to help support the vision. As the largest non-governmental provider of lakes and land for public recreation in the state, Georgia Power was the perfect partner to help kick-start Georgia River Network’s first ever ‘Paddle Georgia’ adventure on the Chattahoochee River. Eighteen years later, Paddle Georgia continues to be the largest week-long paddle and camping adventure in the nation, highlighting a different Georgia river each year and typically attracting up to 400 participants.
Throughout the years, Georgia Power has also helped enhance Georgia River Network’s outreach initiatives to promote water safety and encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to participate in recreational opportunities across Georgia’s waterways.
One of these initiatives is the Georgia River Network’s Beaver Crew program, which aims to train American Canoe Association (ACA) certified kayaking instructors who represent a diverse spectrum of outdoor leaders. It was established in 2022 and 11 instructors from various organizations such as Georgia Blind Kayaking and Outdoor Afro Atlanta gained their ACA certifications through this program. In just one short year, the Beaver Crew nearly doubled its number of participants with 21 individuals earning credentials in 2023.
Georgia Power was also instrumental in making water safety education accessible to all through the free Georgia River Guide app. This digital trip planning tool launched in spring 2022 to empower river recreationists to experience Georgia’s network of more than 35 water trails. In just a click, paddlers can access safety information including river difficulty, potential hazards and rapids as well as real-time access to river gauges.
Georgia Power’s dedicated support for Georgia River Network’s mission remains unwavering. The partnership between the two organizations continues to grow as they work toward a common goal of safeguarding Georgia’s natural treasures for future generations.