About a mile east of where Euharlee Road intersects West Avenue, Floyd, owner of Ladd's Farm Supply, has created a public space along the river bordering the hay field. Recent voluntary, environmental upgrades to the property earned Floyd recognition from the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission.
The GSWCC issued a press release last week recognizing the efforts of Floyd and other partners in the stabilization of the streambank and surrounding public spaces. Also noted as partners in the project were the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation District.
"Mr. Floyd does a lot for the community and him providing access through his land to the river -- that goes well above and beyond what most people would do," said John Loughridge, GSWCC regional representative. "And since he was willing to do that, he was also willing to spend a little more money to do more than what the project called for.
"He was looking at ways to stabilize the areas where folks were constantly walking and fishing and stuff and there were some areas that were eroding near the road crossing."
To stabilize those areas, Floyd sought the advice of soil and water conservation agencies. Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Davis Nelson explained the process by which the streambank was stabilized. Using additional rock and vegetation where water runoff flows into the river, runoff is filtered and slowed to reduce erosion and pollution.
"The more you slow down the water, the less it washes away the soil. What we try to do is keep so much silt from coming off the highways, fields and subdivisions into the lakes and streams. So, that's what he was doing is filtering that water before it ever got to the river," Nelson said, noting the efforts made by Floyd. "He's done such a great job there, you just need to recognize people that give to the community like he did. He doesn't charge anybody anything, he even picks up the trash out there."
A small portion of the stabilization project cost was covered by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife program. Loughridge encourages other landowners near water sources to find out more about resources available to reduce erosion and runoff.
"[Floyd] was able to use the grant money to help stabilize the area, plant some trees and make it better for the watershed," Loughridge said. "In the past, it has been a program that has been used for streambank stabilization. ... But also, the grant money can be used for fencing out streams that livestock have access to. And the grant money can also be used to help establish another water system. For example, a water line and a water tank rather than the cattle using the stream, or the lake or river. That allows the buffer area to grow up to filter the runoff and also makes the streambank more stable."
For more information, contact Loughridge at 706-295-6131 or visit, www.gswcc.org. The U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service, Calhoun field office, can be reached at 706-629-2582.