When our children were little I used to walk with them down to Pump House, to the overflow of the spring that provides our town with drinking water. We'd take the dog along, and I'd let them wade around in the cold spring water to their hearts content. I didn't need to worry about snakes with the dog splashing around with them. They would pick watercress to use in salads, try to catch the minnows and frogs, and marvel at the Water Boatmen and Dragonflies.
Thanks to homeland security concerns, the pump house and spring have been fenced off for some years now, and the old pier we used to walk out on is long gone. But you can still hear kids laughing and playing in the creek behind our house in the Summer.
Sometimes their friends would invite them to go swimming in nearby Lake Logan Martin, which is fed by the Coosa River. They would get mad, because I wouldn't let them go. I knew that the e-coli count was high. Even back then it was polluted.
Today, Logan Martin and the Coosa River are favorite haunts of plenty of water sports enthusiasts. And plenty of fishing is done, but very few people eat the fish they catch in the Coosa. It's just way too polluted to be safe.
Hubby and I belong to the Coosa River Keepers, a non-profit organization whose goal is to clean up the Coosa River and restore it to a living river. You can help the River Keepers win a cash prize by voting and giving 5 stars for this short video in which a long time resident of our town recounts her childhood memories of the Coosa River.
I urge you to find a local group working to protect a habitat near you.