Flint River User's Guide

Flint Cover Art

The Flint River is arguably Georgia’s most beautiful river, and in terms of the terrain through which it flows on its 344-mile journey, there is not another Georgia river that exposes the river traveler to more diverse vistas. From the bottomland swamps in its headwaters, through soaring views of Pine Mountain and rapids in the Piedmont, to breathtakingly clear springs in the Coastal Plain, the Flint is filled with surprises at virtually every bend.

The Flint River User’s Guide, the fourth in a series of Georgia River Network recreational guidebooks, is a portal to adventure on this spectacular river. The book brings to life the river’s cultural and natural heritage while providing all the details needed to get out on the river and enjoy it via canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or motorized vessel.

Whether in your canoe, on the river, or on your couch at home, the Flint River User’s Guide will immerse you in the story of the river, which also happens to be the story of those communities along its course—from the headwaters in the suburbs of metro Atlanta to the backwaters of Lake Seminole near the Florida state line.


This guide includes:

  • An introduction and overview of the river
  • Chapters describing each river section with detailed maps and notes on river access and points of interest
  • A compact natural history guide featuring species of interest found along Georgia’s rivers
  • Notes on safety and boating etiquette
  • A fishing primer
  • Notes on organizations working to protect the river
  • Printed on waterproof paper

If you purchase your copy directly from GRN, a portion of the proceeds benefit our river conservation work. To order online, go HERE. To place a pick-up order, call 706-549-4508 or come by the Georgia River Network office. Price: $24.95 including tax, $28 including tax and shipping.  Joe Cook is the author of the Georgia River Network Guidebook series published by the UGA Press, is coordinator of Georgia River Network’s Paddle Georgia Event, and on staff at Coosa River Basin Initiative.

Also available, Etowah River User's Guide, Chattahoochee River User's Guide, and Broad River User's Guide


Georgia River Network / Turner Foundation Grants

2014 Grantees

Thanks to support from the Turner Foundation, Georgia River Network was able to re-grant funds to grassroots groups protecting Georgia’s rivers. Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Eight applications totaling $55,534 were received. Seven grantees were awarded a total of $40,000.

1.  Town of Braselton / Adopt-A-Stream Group ($500) 

Town of Braselton’s Adopt-A-Stream group will purchase supplies for clean-ups of the Mulberry River.

2. Coosa River Basin Initiative ($10,000)

Coosa River Basin Initiative will continue monitoring land and water supply development and opposing the proposed Citi Center project and the construction of Calhoun, Shoal and Richland Creek reservoirs.

3. WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc ($500)

WWALS will provide marketing materials for a new water trail in development on the Alapaha River with the assistance of Georgia River Network’s Community Programs Coordinator.

As part of a collaborative campaign, the following four riverkeepers have chosen to work together toward re-establishing the buffer protection for salt marshes that was removed by Georgia EPD this year and extend salt marsh buffer protection throughout the coastal plain during the 2015 legislative session.

4. Altamaha Riverkeeper ($8,000)

Altamaha Riverkeeper will serve as the operational and organizational lead for the “Collaborative Riverkeeper Campaign to Address the Repeal of Marsh Buffer Protections.”

5. Ogeechee Riverkeeper ($8,000)

Ogeechee Riverkeeper will co-develop and co-implement the outreach and communications plan and materials in partnership with Satilla Riverkeeper for the “Collaborative Riverkeeper Campaign to Address the Repeal of Marsh Buffer Protections.”

6. Satilla Riverkeeper ($8,000)

Satilla Riverkeeper will co-develop and co-implement the outreach and communications plan and materials in partnership with Ogeechee Riverkeeper for the “Collaborative Riverkeeper Campaign to Address the Repeal of Marsh Buffer Protections.”

7. Savannah Riverkeeper ($5,000)

Savannah Riverkeeper will serve as the lead on legislative efforts to attain fresh water wetland buffer protections as part of the “Collaborative Riverkeeper Campaign to Address the Repeal of Marsh Buffer Protections.”

Donation by: Margaret Tyson

Board Recruitment

How many of you have been in this conversation at a board meeting before? Your board chair says “Tom and Jane are rolling off the board in June and we need to find 2 new board members to replace them,” everyone kinda looks around at each other for a few seconds, and then people start calling out names of people? Some people you know, some you don’t, some have skills or connections you need, some are enthusiastic volunteers, some are bit of an unknown.

It’s not necessarily a bad way to do it, but there is a more strategic way to approach board recruitment that helps you assure that you have a strong board that is in a good position to do its work in a very successful and productive way.

First: it’s helpful to take a scan of the strengths and gaps on your current board – through the lens of what a board is supposed to do:

  • Financial oversight – do you have board members with a background in finance like accountants, bankers, or financial planners that can advise the rest of the board on the financial health of the organization, provide financial advice and be in line to be the next treasurer?

  • Strategic direction – do you have board members who are familiar and passionate about the issues your organization tackles?

  • Fundraising – do you have board members who are donors, well connected to sources of funding and/or who are great fundraisers themselves?

  • Communications and outreach – do you have board members who are connected in the community you operate in, who can open doors and create opportunities, and use their network to help the organization?

  • Leadership – do you have board members who have experience in holding leadership positions, in making decisions in a collaborative way, and harnessing the strengths of individuals to make a collective, collaborative impact and that can serve in leadership positions on your board such as the Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary?

  • Decision making – do you have a lawyer (or two) on your board, especially if you can’t afford to have in-house legal counsel – which, let’s face it, most of can’t – to help the board make decisions related to litigation (if you do that kind of thing), to make sure you are in compliance with federal and state laws, and to make sure you are following the rules that govern your organization – your by-laws.

Chances are that many of your current board members are many of these things, but do a scan and see where you might have some gaps and see some upcoming gaps as natural transition on your board happens. There may be some of these things that you want all your board members to have.

Second: Make a list of prospects. Now it would be easy to look at your gaps and start naming names of lawyers, accountants, and leaders you know. But there is an important lens to look at your gaps through before you make your list of prospects. First, you need to make sure your prospects are already CONNECTED to your organization. A good way to think about is THE LEADERSHIP PYRAMID. The theory behind the Leadership Pyramid is that people move into – and through – different leadership positions in your organization and that each leadership position leads to the next. 

First, you have the “general public.” These may be people who have the skills or traits listed above, but they may or may not know about your organization, care about your issue, or have ever been involved with your organization. 

Second, you have the people who have shown an interest in what you do, your organization, and the issues you work on – these are people who have become members of your organization and/or shown up and participated in your events and activities. 

Third, you have people who have not only shown an interest in you, they’ve made a contribution to your organization by volunteering and/or donating to your organization. 

Fourth, you have people who have not only shown an interest and contributed to your organization, but they have contributed in such a way that has demonstrated leadership and contributed significantly to your organization’s success. 

It is from this fourth tier that you can identify future board members that have great potential to fulfill the vital roles and responsibilities outlined in the first step. 


Grant Writing--Step 1

Question: I'm new to the nonprofit world, and I'm facing my greatest personal challenge yet: I've been asked to write a grant! It seems really hard.  Can you give me any pointers?

Answer: Grant writing, like nearly everything else in life, is a lot easier than it seems.  Have you ever followed the directions to put together a piece of Ikea furniture before? It's a lot like that.  Grant writing is all about following directions and collecting the right information to make a case for  funding your project.

But it's important to get organized first. So what can you do to make sure you're ready to apply for a grant?

  • Are You Ready? Make sure you know everything about the project you're writing a grant to fund before you start writing.  Make sure you collect information like whether your organization is actually 501c3 nonprofit (seems obvious, but important!), that you have a project to fund, that you know its' costs, timeline, how the project will help fulfill the organization's mission, whether you have the capacity and leadership to do the work, and whether you have the answers to all the grant-maker's questions.

  • Are You a Good Match? Sometimes it's not you, it's them.  So, make sure you and the foundation are a good match before diving in and writing a grant that might not be funded.  Things to look for are whether the grant maker has a geographic, issue, or project focus.  It's also a good idea to look at who they've funded in the past, a list of their past grantees, and how much they've given to programs like yours. If it all matches up, you might be a good fit!

  • Details, Details, Details! Foundations want exactly what they ask for--no more, no less.  So, if they ask for a strategic plan, they'll be looking for your strategic plan when they review your application.  If they ask for a cash flow budget, don't send them a simple budget instead.  Getting together all the right documents in the right formats is just part of it, but it'll pay off in the end!

Good luck! Look for the second part of this grant writing FAQ next month. You can always email Jesslyn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions!