Weekend for Rivers 2011

Georgia River Network Annual Conference and Celebration

Click here for presentations and participant list from 2011 Weekend for Rivers.

You may ask: What’s the GRN Weekend for Rivers?

Surprise! We’ve changed the name of our annual conference to better reflect the Nature of the Beast. This year, we’ve rolled a lot more into our annual conference for river lovers: Field Trips!  A bigger party! Informational sessions about rivers for anybody and everybody!

Want to find something specific? Click on the heading below:

The Basics
Agenda and Highlights
Speaker Bios
Session Descriptions
Field Trip Information
Event Partners and Sponsors


Theme:  “Everybody’s River: Broadening the River Movement”
When: February 25-26, 2011
Where: Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell, Georgia
What: Georgia River Network’s Weekend for Rivers is just what it sounds like—a weekend dedicated to rivers for people who love rivers. Join us for two days of informative workshops and conference sessions, as well as field trips, networking opportunities, awards and a great party!
Cost: Full weekend registration (including Friday workshops, field trips and party and Saturday's 3-track conference) is $105 before February 1st and $125 after February 1st.  Per day registration is $60/day.  Students can register for the whole weekend for $30.

To sign up to get more updates about Weekend for Rivers, visit our sign-up page.


Register for the Weekend for Rivers online or download this form and fax or mail it in.


Here's what to expect from 2011's Weekend for Rivers:

Over 120 river advocates from across the state of Georgia will gather at Roswell’s Chattahoochee Nature Center for Georgia River Network’s Weekend for Rivers. At this annual conference, advocates will gain information, skills and tools for use in protecting and restoring rivers across the state.

Highlights of the conference will include:

Keynote Speakers:

  • Angelou Ezeilo, Greening Youth Foundation – “Nurturing Diversity in the Environmental Movement”;

  • Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, National Wildlife Federation – “And Clean Water For All:  Grassroots Groups Restore Watersheds, Communities, and Health"

  • Sally Bethea, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper – Upper Chattahoochee River Issues Today

  • Neill Herring, Sierra Club Lobbyist, & Gil Rogers of the Southern Environmental Law Center – Current State Legislative, Water Planning and Policy Issues Update

  • Joe Cook, Executive Director of the Coosa River Basin Initiative and Paddle Georgia Coordinator--"Why Getting on the River Matters"

Three Informative Tracks on Saturday:

  • River Protection Success Stories: In this track, we will examine exciting links between sustainable agriculture and watershed protection, recent environmental victories in the Savannah River Basin, neighborhood-level volunteer water monitoring efforts in Atlanta, and the effective grassroots community response to a toxic chemical spill to a stream in Athens.

  • Water Trails and Protecting Georgia’s Rivers: This track will detail the gathering momentum for improving recreational canoe and kayak access to rivers all over Georgia, along with the ways in which water trails support local economies and river conservation.

  • Watershed Protection for Everybody: This track, hosted by Georgia Adopt-a-Stream, will focus on monitoring pollution and river health for the layperson, reducing your “water footprint,” and organizing community outreach events.

Friday Workshops:

  • “Broadening the River Movement,” a day-long session facilitated by Victoria Creed about how we can work to achieve a broader, more diverse base of support for our organizations.

  • “Water Trails Toolkit,” a half-day how-to session presented by a cast of trail-making veterans on developing water trails in your community, from concept to completion.

  • Georgia Adopt-a-Stream: Training workshops for chemical and bacterial monitoring, led by Allison Hughes and Tara Muenz of Georgia Adopt-a-Stream.

  • Friday Field Trips: a patrol trip on the Chattahoochee with Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a tour and wildlife show at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, and tours of the John’s Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

  • Networking and exhibits throughout the conference.

  • A Friday night party featuring a silent auction and River Celebration Awards.


Scholarships will be available to Weekend for Rivers participants who are attending the "Broadening the River Movement" diversity workshop on Friday, February 25th.  We are also offering scholarships to members of Environmental Justice groups and people of color. $60 registration scholarships and $105 travel scholarships to persons who can demonstrate a need. To apply for a scholarship, please download and print this PDF form, and send it in for your registration. Email Jesslyn Shields for more information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Click here to read about the speakers at the conference.


Click here to read about all the great talks we have lined up.


From Roswell Road (Highway 9/U.S. 19):
(Heading North from Atlanta or I-285).
At the first traffic light after crossing the Chattahoochee River, turn left onto Azalea Drive. At the second traffic light, turn left onto Willeo Road. CNC is located one-half mile on the right.

From GA 400 Northbound:
Exit on Northridge (exit #6) and bear to the right, back over the expressway. Immediately after crossing over 400, turn right onto Dunwoody Place. Follow Dunwoody Place until it intersects with Roswell Road (1.2 miles). Turn right onto Roswell Road. At the first traffic light after crossing the Chattahoochee River, turn left onto Azalea Drive. At the second traffic light, turn left onto Willeo Road. CNC is located one-half mile on the right.

From GA 400 Southbound:
Exit Northridge Road (exit #6). At the top of the ramp is a traffic light. Travel straight through the traffic light onto Dunwoody Place. Follow Dunwoody Place until it intersects with Roswell Road (1.2 miles). Turn right onto Roswell Road. At the first traffic light after crossing the Chattahoochee River, turn left onto Azalea Drive. At the second traffic light, turn left onto Willeo Road. CNC is located one-half mile on the right.

From Marietta and All Points West:
Take Highway 120 (also called Marietta Highway or Upper Roswell Road) east toward the city of Roswell. Cross Johnson Ferry Road and travel approximately four miles to Willeo Road. At a traffic light, turn right onto Willeo Road. CNC is located one mile on the right.


We have reserved a block of rooms at the Courtyard by Marriott in Roswell, approximately 4.5 miles from the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  Rooms reserved for the event have been locked in at $69/night. Click here for directions from the hotel to the Chattahoochee Nature Center.

To reserve a room at the Courtyard by Marriott, click here.


John's Creek Environmental Campus Tour

Friday, February 25
2pm – 4pm
Join us for a bus tour to the John’s Creek Environmental Campus followed by a stroll along Roswell’s Riverwalk with Mayor Jere Wood.

The Johns Creek Environmental Campus (JCEC) is a unique facility combining state-of-the-art wastewater treatment technology with an educational facility, the vision of the late Fulton County Commissioner Bob Fulton. Debra Ewing will meet us to explain how this facility utilizes a key component incorporating the use of the wastewater treatment process as an educational tool – explaining issues and benefits related to water quality and aquatic life in the Chattahoochee River, water conservation, reuse water, and the value of water.  Wastewater flows are treated with a membrane biological reactor (MBR) technology in conjunction with biological phosphorus removal, resulting in a higher quality effluent returned to the Chattahoochee.  While there, you’ll also see the River of Words Display from Project W.E.T.

The Roswell Riverwalk along the Chattahoochee River enhances the cities reputation as one of the best places to live, work and play in the Metro-Atlanta area.  Extending from Eves Road to Willeo Road this unique amenity includes several parks and a multi use trail that attracts people from a wide geographic area.  They come to bike, hike, fish, swim, bird watch, play and canoe along the river.  Mayor Jere Wood invites you to tour this wonderful green space with him and learn how the Riverwalk connects people with their river on every level and encourages eco tourism and economic benefits as well.

Chattahoochee Nature Center Tour

Friday, February 25
2-4 PM
Tour the Chattahoochee Nature Center: Start in the Discovery Center, our new Gold LEED Certified building and learn about the only Interpretive Center of the Chattahoochee River Watershed in GA.  You’ll also enjoy the unique Nature Exchange, the River Resource Gallery and the Green Roof.   View the winning films from the High School Film Festival “Water, Water Everywhere” in the Cowie Weiss Theater.   Then take a stroll along our boardwalk and enjoy the wetlands and the views of the Chattahoochee while you look for the native flora and fauna. You’ll also get up close and personal with our native raptors or other animals at our “Creature Features” and learn about our wildlife rehabilitation efforts from of one of our wildlife volunteers.

River Patrol with Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

Friday, February 25
Trip will run every 40 minutes between 1:30 pm-5:10 pm.  The patrol boat can accommodate 4 passengers/trip.
Join Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s boat captain Jason Ulseth aboard UCR’s new state of the art 200 horsepower shallow water patrol boat.  Participants will meet at the river at Roswell’s Azalea Road boat ramp.  Once aboard, we will run several miles upstream through the shallow waters of the Chattahoochee River.  You will learn firsthand how UCR utilizes river patrols, visual surveys, and water quality monitoring to protect the river.  Each trip is expected to last approximately 35 minutes.  Participants are encouraged to dress warm if the weather is cold.

Trip #1--1:30-2:10
Trip #2--2:15-2:55
Trip #3--3:00-3:40
Trip #4--3:45-4:25
Trip #5--4:30-5:10

To sign up for a time, please contact Jesslyn Shields at 706.549.4508

Adopt-A-Stream Chemical and Bacterial Training

Friday, February 25
1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Classrooms in Kingfisher Hall

River protection begins with determining its health. Georgia Adopt-A-Stream is offering two hands-on, field based workshops to that will teach methods used to evaluate water quality and certify you to collect baseline data for the State Volunteer Monitoring Program.  Join us and take it your river protection efforts to the next level. 

Chemical Monitoring Workshop

 The Chemical Monitoring workshop is designed to teach volunteers about basic stream water chemistry and how to conduct the chemical tests using hand-held field equipment. The basic set of tests that volunteers are asked to conduct includes dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, and temperature. Advanced tests may include alkalinity, phosphate and nitrate-nitrogen. Volunteers are given a field and written test to assess their ability to collect accurate and precise data. Volunteers who collect data within 10% accuracy and pass the written test with a score of 80% or better will be considered a QA/QC volunteer for one year.

Bacterial Monitoring Workshop

The Bacterial Monitoring Workshop will teach volunteers how to monitor E. coli levels in their streams. E. coli is an indicator organism that is often used to assess water quality. Monitoring levels of E. coli can help identify possible sources of pollution. This workshop will focus on proper collection of a water sample; transfer of sample onto plates that will be incubated, and proper interpretation of results. Volunteers who successfully perform the bacterial monitoring and pass the written test with a score of 90% or better will be considered a QA/QC volunteer for one year.


Weekend for Rivers Partners:



Thank You to Our Sponsors!











American Rivers

Bud and Mary Freeman

Flint Riverkeeper

Southern Environmental Law Center

Broad River Watershed Association

Coosa River Basin Initiative

Environment Georgia

Friends of Barber Creek

Altamaha Riverkeeper


Upper Etowah River Alliance

Rolling Hills RC&D

Georgia Conservancy