Water is Sacred.

Water is one of our most sacred natural resources. In almost every faith tradition, water plays an important role in ritual and spiritual life, symbolizing rebirth, healing, and purification. As our faith traditions place intrinsic value on water, we are called to preserve and protect this finite resource. Together, with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK), we welcome communities of faith to experience the Chattahoochee Watershed firsthand. Through an outing on one of CRK’s floating classrooms (Lake Lanier & West Point Lake), a guided paddle trip, or a land-based trash clean-up along a local waterway, communities of faith can engage in efforts to protect Earth’s water resources and learn more about their faith tradition’s approach to water conservation and environmental stewardship.

Outings Offered

Floating Classroom West Point Lake

Join GIPL staff on CRK’s West Point Lake floating classroom for a two-hour outing. CRK staff will provide education about the watershed and water conservation through hands-on activities. GIPL staff will work with communities of faith to teach from their own tradition of creation care on topics related to water preservation, environmental justice, and stewardship of resources.

Cost: $15/participant with a minimum payment of $250. Group scholarships are available on a limited basis.

Floating Classroom Lake Lanier

Instructors from the Elachee Nature Science Center provide education on the Lake Lanier floating classroom. This two-hour outing includes hands-on activities that teach participants about the history and ecology of Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee watershed.

Cost: $16/person with a minimum payment of $320.

Communities of faith can choose to bring packed lunches and stay in the park for a workshop and discussion about creation care with GIPL staff after the floating classroom outing. An additional payment of $100 is suggested for this workshop.

COVID-19 Safety Protocol

The maximum number of participants allowed on the West Point Lake floating classroom is 30 passengers. The maximum number of participants allowed on the Lake Lanier floating classroom is 50 passengers.

Prior to the outing, we encourage participants to check with their healthcare provider about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Land-Based Cleanups in Metro Atlanta

Clean-ups make a tangible difference in the health of the Chattahoochee watershed and are a safe and positive ways to engage in your local community. In 2020, CRK removed 32 tons of trash and a record setting 9 tons of recyclables, which comprised mostly of more than 750 tires. These clean-ups typically take place along the shoreline of the river, lakes, and creeks and last 2-3 hours. Trash bags, gloves, snacks, and water are provided. We invite groups to bring a pack lunch and join GIPL staff for a lunch conversation on environmental stewardship and creation care. The maximum number of participants is 40. The minimum age for the land-based clean-up is 10. Please bring at least one adult chaperone per 5-6 youth.

Cost: $600

Guided Paddle Outings on Lake Lanier and in Metro Atlanta

One of the best ways to experience your local waterway is to paddle along in a kayak. CRK and GIPL staff can lead guided paddle outings so your group can enjoy the watershed and clean up trash along the way. Water and snacks and kayaks will be provided. The paddle outings last 4-5 hours and will include an educational discussion with GIPL and CRK staff that is unique to your faith tradition and group. The maximum number of participants is 20. The minimum age to be able to paddle in a solo kayak is 15. Participants younger than 15 may paddle in a double kayak with an adult. Please bring at least one adult chaperone per 5-6 youth.

Cost: $1100


Please contact GIPL’s Program Associate, Hannah Shultz, at hannah@gipl.org to schedule an outing.

Community Conversation Video

For those interested in delving further, we encourage you to watch and listen to this thirty-minute conversation about connecting faith groups with their local watershed. Along with the full version, you can also watch the video in three separate parts.

Click here to view Connecting Faith Groups with the Chattahoochee Watershed | Three-Part Conversation.

Thank you to our friends and partners featured in this video: Anton Flores, Casa Alterna Founding Director & Atlanta Friends Meeting Friend-in-Residence; La Trina Jackson, The Atlanta Unity Mosque, Imam; Codi Norred, GIPL Executive Director; and Juliet Cohen, CRK Executive Director.

About Our Partner

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) is an environmental advocacy organization dedicated solely to protecting and restoring the Chattahoochee River Basin. Established in 1994, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper protects the watershed through water monitoring, education, research, advocacy, collaboration, and legal action. Overtime, CRK has engaged over 10,000 members throughout the watershed and has achieved a 4-star (highest) rating by Charity Navigator for 11 consecutive years.

To learn more, visit https://chattahoochee.org/.