Monday, Sep 30, 2013
On Saturday, September 28, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area hosted multiple events in observance of National Public Lands Day, including a naturalization ceremony, volunteer projects, a teacher workshop, and a visit from Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
At Hewlett Field in the Island Ford unit of the park, 72 new citizens took the oath of citizenship in the first-ever naturalization ceremony held at Chattahoochee River. “Many other national parks host naturalization ceremonies every year,” said CRNRA Acting Superintendent Scott Pfeninger. “This will be a first for Chattahoochee River so we’re honored to welcome new citizens into the nation in our park. By holding this ceremony here, we are able to introduce new citizens to the land we all share, which is the purpose of National Public Lands Day.”
At the same time, twenty students from Centennial High School paddled rafts down the river from Island Ford and scooped trash out of the river. When they arrived at Riverside Park in Roswell for the RiversAlive! trash weigh-in, they were met by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who congratulated them on their work. The Secretary then paddled with several members of the park staff, along with employees of USGS and US Fish and Wildlife Service, from Riverside Park to the Chattahoochee Nature Center's boardwalk.
While the new citizens took their oath and the high school students cleaned up the river, twenty teachers studied geology inside the historic Hewlett Lodge with Dr. Bill Witherspoon, a geologist from Fernbank Science Center in DeKalb County. In the afternoon, Dr. Witherspoon took the teachers out to the Cochran Shoals area of the park to study the Brevard Fault. Before they went out to the field, the teachers also got a chance to meet Secretary Jewell, who stopped by Hewlett Lodge before heading back to Washington.