A message from Barbara B.

All,
Barbara Bourque, President of the Garden Club of Georgia is asking all club members to contact our Georgia Senator and Representative regarding two important issues.  Details and links are in the message below from Barbara.  Also included is a request to send comments to the National Park Service in support of designating the Ocmulgee River Corridor as a National Park.
 
Attached to this email is a copy of Linda Doiron's article for the Gardening edition of Planting and Nurturing March 2021, titled "Vegetrails".  The article provides an opportunity for all to learn about agriculture in Georgia; small towns, people, pride and fresh local produce. The article supports Georgia Agricultural Awareness Week- March 22-26, 2021.  Consider supporting a local farmer's market this week.  Norcross has a weekly drive-thru market (https://www.norcrosscommunitymarket.com/)  Duluth's market is open Thursday, March 25th - check website for additional dates.(https://www.duluthga.net/community/duluth_farmers_market.php)
 
From Barbara Bourque, President, The Garden Club of Georgia:
Our GA Legislature is in session.  Crossover has happened and several bills passed the house are now being considered in the Senate and vice-versa.
We need you to share this email with your club members so that all of you can contact your Georgia Senator and Representative.    See below for  TWO important issues. A link is provided for each issue -  Click on the link, fill in your information and it will automatically find your Senator/House Rep. They provide a sample letter or you can write something in your own words. The important part is that you write.
Stinky sludge (poultry poop)  applied as soil amendments
In recent years, neighbors across rural Georgia have been impacted by foul odors, flies and polluted runoff due to unwelcome sludge in the name of soil amendments and fertilizers. Odors are beyond offensive and waters get polluted.

To combat the widespread application of this stinking mess, lawmakers in 2019 passed a great House Bill 1057, which allowed local authorities to establish property protections for neighbors and nearby waterways. Now a new bill, Senate Bill 260, would severely limit local government’s powers - setbacks would be limited to 100 feet. We all know that you can easily smell chicken poop for more than 100 feet. Local control should be able to maintain larger setbacks when needed.

SB 260 passed the Senate and is now in the House.

Contact your Representative and tell them to preserve local control and vote NO on SB 260 
Coal Ash Pits
Thanks to your past help - an important piece of legislation passed through Georgia's House of Representatives, AND will be heard in Senate Natural Resources Committee meeting tomorrow (3/24) at 9 am.
 HB 647 extends the amount of time required for post-closure groundwater monitoring at coal ash impoundments from 30 years to 50 years. This is a small, but important step towards safer coal ash storage.   Ask your Senator to vote for  HB 647.    Do everything we can to contain coal ash.  
We CAN and MUST do better.  This week two investigative journalism reports were released highlighting the dangers of leaving coal ash in unlined pits.
  1. "Saving Juliette  Please share this 30 minute investigative documentary with others and ask our elected officials to take action to protect Georgians from coal ash.  Take the time to listen to this video concerning health issues & drinking water in the town of Juliette, where Plant Sherer is located.
  2. According to a ProPublica article, Georgia Power’s residential customers will shell out $3,300 per household to clean up the company’s toxic coal ash waste.  And the cleanup isn’t even complete. The company will spend this money and still leave millions of tons of toxic coal ash in contact with Georgia’s groundwater.

Share these important articles with your Senator. Encourage them to act quickly to protect our water from toxins in coal ash.

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 Also important -   share your Opinion  with the National Park Service
The Ocmulgee River Corridor is one step closer to becoming a National Park, but we need your help!
The Ocmulgee National Park Study Group is seeking public input and needs to hear from you in support of designating the corridor as a National Park. The deadline for public comment is this Friday, March 26th.
Some things to consider that are unique to Ocmulgee and why it should become a National Park:
  • An archaeological landscape with over 900 historical sites, representing 17,000 years of human history
  • The homeland of the Muscogee Creek Nation
  • A unique bear population, important migratory & breeding bird habitat, and high reptile & amphibian diversity
  • The largest block of contiguous swamp-forest habitat on the upper Coastal Plain
  • A National Park & Preserve could lead to a six-fold increase in visitation within 15 years and add $206.7 million in annual economic activity while supporting an additional 2,814 jobs
Additional facts & information can be found on the  Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve Initiative Facebook Page.
Please submit your comments online today and forward this message to five friends. Remember, comments MUST be received by Friday, March 26th.   Click below to connect to the National Park Service.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to contact your legislators and let them know your opinions.

"Nurture the Garden We Call Georgia"