Savannah Riverkeepers event celebrates 20 years and previews new disc golf course


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Savannah Riverkeeper is getting ready to host it’s inaugural “Bells and Buoys” event.

The event is celebrating 20 years of the Riverkeeper improving the area’s waterways.

“We’ve converted our entire office space in to a place for people to come hang out…party with us. All of our volunteers have gotten a free ticket to come in, so hopefully we’ll have a really good crowd. We’ve got local brews, we got some chili, barbecue, some great food. We’re going to have fun and celebrate that we’ve been around for twenty years,” said Tonya Bonitatibus, the Executive Director and Riverkeeper for the Savannah Riverkeeper.

The event will also serve as a soft opening for the Riverkeeper’s disc golf course, a project that has been in the making for some time.

“We started many years ago cleaning up this property. The city of Augusta awarded it to us six years ago. We focused on two acres, we rehabbed the building, and have gotten the office space cleaned up, and now the next big step for us was starting to use the back nine or the other twelve acres of the property, and the first step in that is installing a disc golf course, and we’re right there. The first nine holes are ready to be opened here in just a couple of weeks, so we’re doing a soft opening at ‘Bells and Buoys’ and we’re going to have the first six holes for glow golf that night,” said Bonitatibus.

The process of getting the area ready for the disc golf course has been a difficult one, but the reward for the clean up isn’t far off.

“So, this is a old car parts junkyard, so it’s taken a lot of cleaning up. The ground is full of everything from car parts, old wires, tires, oil containers; so there’s been a lot of cleanup from over the years. So, getting us to a point to where you can walk across the property nevertheless put a disc golf course in has been a uphill battle,” said Bonitatibus.

The completed disc golf course is still a ways off, but the soft opening is a step in the right direction. The Savannah Riverkeeper hopes that the community will not only come out and enjoy the new feature, but also gain an appreciation for the river itself.

“Well, I’d love to see them use it on a regular basis to enjoy it and to really get to know the river. There’s so much that this natural resource offers all of us in the CSRA all along the Savannah River and for them to take some good stuff away from that and to pitch in and to help keep this river the majesty that she is,” said Truck Carlson, the Program Coordinator for Veterans for Clean Water.

“Bells and Buoys” takes place December 11th, at 5 p.m., rain or shine, at the Savannah Riverkeepers headquarters. Tickets are on sale now.

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