High school students help clear the way for whitewater course - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

High school students help clear the way for whitewater course

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

What does it take to prepare the largest urban white water course in the world?  Dozens of high school students found out by pitching in a little elbow grease.

"We're picking up any trash we see. Plywood, wires, bottles, cans, anything people would throw down here," Brookstone High School junior Chance Wagner said.

From the looks of the trash piles the students from collected, a lot has been thrown over the bridge into the Chattahoochee River.

"This group of about 25 students is here to help clean up the riverbed as part of the Whitewater project," Brookstone High School teacher Sally Bradley said.

The $24 million project started off with a bang in early 2012.  Months later after breaching the dams, work on the Whitewater course was on way but debris on the riverbed causes a safety risk.

"When people throw cans down, it really messes up the water and it causes problems for the river.  It will cause problems for the people that will be rafting- especially the big chains [we found]," Brookstone High School Junior Miller Page said.

What seemed to be the highlight of the day is when students found an old, rusted bike.  "It's interesting; it's completely rusted and broken. It was interesting to see that somebody would throw a bike down [in the river]," Chance said.

The Whitewater project is only part of a master plan that includes restaurants and stores coming to the riverfront, to revitalize Uptown Columbus.

"I think it's exciting for these students to be able to see it from the ground up," said Bradley. "This is something that as young adults, they will be able to enjoy seeing what this brings to Columbus."

For the students, some say picking up trash never felt so good.  "I think it will be fun in knowing that I helped make it possible is a good feeling," Chance said.

The students worked for 3 hours on both the Georgia and Alabama side of the river.  We're told the construction on the Georgia channel is almost done.

The course is expected to be open late 2013.

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