Living Lands & Waters (LL&W), a not-for-profit organization based in East Moline, IL, is bringing its internationally recognized programs and operations to the Tennessee River for the first time in the spring of 2015. The “Tennessee River Tour” will take place throughout the months of April and May, with stops scheduled for Knoxville, Tenn.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Huntsville/Decatur; Muscle Shoals/Florence; Paris, Tenn; and Paducah, Ky. At each port, LL&W will host educational workshops for students and adults, river cleanups, open houses, media events and other conservation activities with the overall goal to increase awareness of the importance and value of the Tennessee River through unique educational experiences and stewardship activities.
The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association is a primary partner for the groups efforts in North Alabama.
“This is a tourism initiative program for AMLA and our members,” said AMLA President/CEO Tami Reist. “We feel it is important for us to be a good steward of the beautiful natural resources that we are blessed with and that help attract so many visitors to our area,” she said. “It is also a way that our industry can give back to our communities and help preserve the area we love for our future generations.”
In each of the six ports the LL&W barges will visit, they will host a variety of educational programs and river stewardship activities in partnership with local organizations, municipalities, and government agencies. The number and types of events will vary from city to city but each stop will include at least one of each of the following programs: Educational Workshops for Students (five in Decatur/Huntsville, two in Muscle Shoals/Florence), Educational Workshops for the General Public, River Cleanups, Open House, Press Event, Private Event, and the Culture of LL&W.
CNN’s 2013 Hero of the Year and LL&W’s President and Founder, Chad Pregracke, will also be giving talks along the tour at various locations. Exact locations and dates are to be determined.
LL&W is currently creating a website dedicated to the Tennessee River Tour, www.tennesseerivertour.org. The homepage will be designed with a map of the Tennessee River, with each of the stops highlighted. When a visitor comes to the page, they will be able to click on each city, and a new page will open that lists the schedule of events taking place in each port.