Savannah Riverkeeper Leases Unused Land for Education Center

Savannah Riverkeeper Leases Unused Land for Education Center (Image 1)

Locked behind this gate is What Tonya Bonitatibus calls one of the city's hidden treasures.

“It's 14 acres in downtown Augusta that the Riverkeeper's been working on to clean up for years now,” says Savannah Riverkeeper, Tonya Bonitatibus.

Hoping to gain access to the old junk yard-; all in line with the Augusta Tomorrow Master Plan.

A plan Bonitatibus thinks could remind residents and visitors of why this is called the Central Savannah River Area.

Bonitatibus explains, “just down the way here, we'll have kayaking trails. Eventually we'll have a disc golf course behind us, and some running trails, a beach, fishing piers, an education center.”

All part of the Savannah Riverkeeper Education Center– Ideas Jason Mandarino says the Olde Town Neighborhood Association fully supports the education center.

Jason Mandarino with the Olde Town Neighborhood Association says, “I think it'd just be awesome to have some useful recreational space that compliments the riverwalk and other things too.”

Other Augustans say the center will give way to a love of nature in the Garden City.

Resident and downtown business owner, Derrick Toran adds, “most of the touristic parts of this area are more downtown wise and you don't get to see as much of the natural Augusta.”

In what Bonitatibus calls a wildlife escape for residents and visitors alike. She says, “it gives us a place where we can really provide an area that allows people to use the river in a way that they can't currently do it.”

Bonitatibus says it could take up to 10 years to completely finish the project, but she intends to open the kayaking course by the end of summer.

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