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Return of Caddo Earth Day Flotilla sees high turnout

By Robin Y. Richardson
April 23, 2017 at 4 a.m.

Amy Brumfield and her Irish terrier Gracie prepare to set out on their kayak during the Earth Day paddling event at Caddo Lake, on Saturday  at the Shady Glade Resort in Uncertain.

UNCERTAIN - More than 100 participants turned out for the annual Caddo Lake Earth Day Paddling Flotilla Saturday to take a buoyant voyage along three designated paddling trails.

"We had 83 registered and we figure about 79 of those showed. Then we had 25 walk-ups," said Stella Barrow, president of the Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist, a co-sponsor of the event.

"It's been awesome," she said, noting the attendance was a record turnout for the occasion.

The event was the fifth one held in Uncertain to bring awareness to the lake's unique paddling trails. This year would've been the sixth, but it was canceled last year due to two major floods. And instead of the usual regatta, organizers decided to bring back the affair with a flotilla.

"It's been good," Barrow said of Saturday's flotilla, noting they were happy that the cool temperatures didn't deter participants from coming.

The three paddling trails traveled by participants on Saturday left from Uncertain on the shores of Caddo Lake. Check-in began at 7:30 a.m. at Shady Glade Resort. A silent auction and fundraiser kicked off shortly after noon.

"The silent auction brought in a couple of grand, maybe $2,500," said Barrow.

All proceeds from the event will help maintain the paddle trail markers and paddling trails on Caddo Lake and the Big Cypress Bayou.

"The Caddo Lake area has ten trails designated as part of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Texas Paddling Trails system," organizers said before. "Each trail has unique features and all are good for birding, photography and so much more."

Trails that were explored on Saturday were: Johnson's Ranch, Shady Glade and Crip's Camp.

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