Category Archives: Festival

Song submissions open April First (no fooling!): Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest


Song submissions open April First (no fooling!): Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Hahira, Georgia, March 30, 2020 — Bigger and with a new venue, the Turner Center for the Arts, the Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest seeks songs. Submissions open Wednesday, April 1, 2020, yes, no fooling!

[Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest]
Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

“Georgia Beer Co. is back as our top-tier sponsor, which helps us get these new songs about our rivers, swamps, springs, and sinks,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.

Finalists will play at the Contest, 6-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, judges will judge, at the Turner Center for the Arts, 527 N Patterson St, Valdosta, Georgia, 31601. There will be food and a cash bar, as you watch and listen, and you can browse the artworks at the Turner Center. There will also be a kayak raffle and a silent auction, as well as a range of buttons, stickers, hats, notecards, signs, shirts, and posters for sale: this is a fundraiser for WWALS Watershed Coalition.

Photo: Sara and Scotti Jay for WWALS, of Kyle Chamberlain and David Rodock playing Alapaha Laphogs at the 2019 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.
Photo: Sara and Scotti Jay for WWALS, of Kyle Chamberlain and David Rodock playing Alapaha Laphogs
at the 2019 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

“I heard so many good things about last year’s Contest when I was in Newfoundland, that this year I’m the organizing committee chair. I’m thrilled at how well it’s all coming together,” said Tom H. Johnson, Jr.

So you’ll know what you’re supporting, there will be talks about WWALS advocacy, from water quality testing to opposing pipelines and mines and plastic water bottles, to promoting water trails and a Troupville River Camp.

“It’s a fun time for a worthy cause!” said 2018 winner and 2019 headliner Laura D’Alisera, scribe for the organizing committee.

Submissions can be songs about any Continue reading

WWALS online store: cards, hats, stickers, raffle, membership

Can’t get your WWALS stickers, hats, or cards at a festival booth? No problem! WWALS has a new online store where you can get all sorts of things that look good and support our stewardship and advocacy:


Click on the green “Shop now” button to see the items.

Click on any item to order. Then use the cart to review, and pay like in most online stores. We will ship your order to you.

For example, the WWALS notecards are perfect for sending paper messages to all those friends and relatives you can’t visit right now. Each package of note cards has eight beautiful note cards, on high quality paper, each with an envelope.

Note Cards: Swamps and Springs
Note Cards: Swamps and Springs

In addition to the Swamps and Springs shown above, there are packages with themes of Withlacoochee and Little Rivers, Alapaha River, and Suwannee River.

[Note Cards]
Note Cards

Explaining the note cards, here is WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman at the virtual WWALS booth in the woods: Continue reading

Soon at last: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020

Update 2020-03-30: Song submissions open April First (no fooling!): Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Stay tuned for a press release about the Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest! Song submissions will open April 1, 2020 (no fooling!), for the Contest, in which Finalists will play for the Judges and You, Saturday, August 22, 2020.

From last year, here’s headliner Laura D’Alisera finishing up her set.

Gone at Last --Laura D'Alisera and Patrick
Photo: Sara and Scotti Jay for WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.,
of Laura D’Alisera and Patrick playing Gone at Last, by Paul Simon,
in Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2019.

Laura won the first Contest in 2018, and came back to Continue reading

Videos: WWALS Booth 2020-03-21

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman had a great idea of setting up the WWALS booth in the woods (with gnats and mosquitos), since we can’t take it to festivals right now.

[Welcome to the booth]
Welcome to the booth

She says, “Welcome to the booth. Unfortunately because we are quarantined, we can’t have the booth out anywhere, and y’all can’t come to visit us even if we were out somewhere, but we thought we could give some information and have our educational information available for you for however long you are at home.” Stay tuned for more episodes!

No WWALS booth at festivals rest of March 2020 due to virus

Due to the many health considerations of our volunteers and their families, WWALS, exercising an abundance of caution, will not send the information booth to festivals for the rest of March 2020.

Preparing for Community Mass Gatherings --GA-DPH

This means we are cancelling our appearances at:

While we are sorry to have to do that, the risk is beyond simple infection of our booth volunteers, which would be bad enough. The novel coronavirus is airborne, causes a disease that Continue reading

WWALS Booth at Wild Azalea Festival, White Springs, FL 2020-03-21

Update 2020-03-13: No WWALS booth at festivals rest of March 2020 due to virus. No, we will not be at Wild Azalea Festival.

Music, dance, arts and crafts, foods and contests, in historic White Springs, Florida. You can volunteer to help WWALS talk about our outings and advocacy, including, yes, E. coli in the rivers, plus the Earth Day Cleanup on the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers, the Eighth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race on Georgia’s Little River end of April, and the Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest coming up in August in Valdosta. We’ll have the froggy toss game, the EnviroScape, and a kayak raffle.

People, Talking
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS of WWALS at Wild Azalea Festival 2019.

When: 10AM-4PM, Saturday, March 21, 2019

Where: Bailey F Ogburn Recreational Facility
Adams Memorial Circle, White Springs, Florida 32096

Event: facebook by the festival

What: Continue reading

WWALS booth at Azalea Festival, Valdosta, GA 2020-03-14-15

Update 2020-03-13: No WWALS booth at festivals rest of March 2020 due to virus. No, we will not be at Azalea Festival.

Join WWALS to celebrate spring with 30,000 of our south Georgia and north Florida friends, at the Azalea Festival in Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia. We will have information about our outings and advocacy (yes, including Valdosta wastewater), and pictures for sale Gretchen took of our rivers, plus a kayak raffle.

When: 10AM-6PM Saturday 14 March 2020
10AM-5PM Sunday 15 March 2020

Free: No admission charge.

Volunteer: WWALS members can help at the table!

Where: Drexel Park
30.846771, -83.285066
1401 N. Patterson at W. Brookwood Drive, Valdosta, GA 31601
(east across Patterson from VSU front lawn; north across Brookwood from VSU Center)
That’s on One Mile Branch, which flows into Sugar Creek, then the Withlacoochee River, the Suwannee, to the Gulf of Mexico.
Drexel Park is upstream of Wainwright Drive, where WWALS did a cleanup in November 2017, and Valdosta spilled 218,075 gallons of raw sewage. You can help with cleanups or water quality testing.

Event: facebook

Photographs, advocacy, raffle kaya, Booth
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, of Sara Jay, Laura Bauer, Gretchen Quarterman, at WWALS Booth, Azalea Festival, 2019

What: Visit Valdosta, Azalea Festival,

Enjoy shows, contests, food court, art & craft vendors and live entertainment. It’s a packed weekend for a great getaway excursion. And parking is free at Continue reading

Suwannee Riverkeeper at Florida Springsfest 2020-03-07-08

Per popular request, Suwannee Riverkeeper will have a booth at Florida SpringsFest.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper at Florida SpringsFest 2020]
Suwannee Riverkeeper at Florida SpringsFest 2020

When: 10 AM to 4 PM, Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8, 2020

Where: Silver Springs State Park, 1425 NE 58th Ave., Ocala, FL 34470

What: “Join us 10am to 4pm at Silver Springs State Park to learn about Florida Springs! History, science, sustainability, fun, music, MERMAIDS, food and friends, all for $2 park admission! Plus HALF PRICE Glass Bottom Boat rides all weekend (not included with park entry fee).”
And Suwannee Riverkeeper will have materials about advocacy and outings throughout the Suwannee River Basin.

Event: facebook

Many thanks to Continue reading

Pictures: WWALS Light Parade at Banks Lake 2019-12-21


Lakeland, Georgia, December 24, 2019 — Five boats participated in the first-ever WWALS Light Parade on Banks Lake, with 30 to 40 viewers on the fishing pier, at the winter solstice, Saturday, December 21, 2019.


“We had lots of spectators and enjoyed the evening with our S’Mores and hot chocolate!” said Shelby Miller, whose idea this WWALS Light Parade was.

The winners were:

1st place: Bobby McKenzie

[Bobby McKenzie paddling]
Bobby McKenzie paddling

2nd place: Eli Harrell

[Eli Harrell]
Eli Harrell

3rd place: Allison Ray

[Allison Ray and daughters]
Allison Ray and daughters

Bobby McKenzie donated back to WWALS his $50 first prize. Shelby Miller donated the $50 split between the second and third place winners.

[Bobby McKenzie and Eli Harrell]
Bobby McKenzie and Eli Harrell

It was good that Allison’s two daughters paddled as well. The rain did hold off but the wind did not, it was Continue reading

Suwannee Riverkeeper float on front page of Jasper News 2019-12-12

On the front page of the local newspaper: the Suwannee Riverkeeper float in the White Springs Christmas Parade. Thanks, Randy Madison and Jasper News!

[The Suwannee Riverkeeper float included a canoe.]
The Suwannee Riverkeeper float included a canoe.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!