I always love to travel and discover what is new in every location that I visit even if it is my backyard. I had the priviledge of going to a nature cultural hike with the Keeping It Wild group at the local state park called Sweetwater Park. Keeping It Wild (http://keepingitwild.org/) is quote "was created in 2005 by several Atlanta citizen-advocates who perceived the need to bring together members of diverse conservation communities in order to promote better stewardship for the natural lands in our area." A quote from the Keeping It Wild website states "We promote the enjoyment of the outdoors by overcoming barriers and providing opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds, interests and experience levels to explore our natural environment in new and exciting ways. We connect diverse individuals and families to the land and each other by encouraging hands-on experiences through hikes, outings, educational opportunities and community-building partnerships." I had a chance to hike with this great group of people and learn about how african slaves made a tremendous impact with this historical park.
I start the hike with the Keeping It Wild group along with the tour guide from the Sweetwater Park. We walk on the red history trial to the impressive five-story New Manchester mill ruins along side the white rapids of Sweetwater Creek. New Manchester was a mid-nineteenth centurymill town which met its demise during the Civil War after the burning of the mill in 1864. African Amercian slaves were the ones who build this mill and who had to do force labor at the mill. They had to work from the very early morning until 12:00 pm before breakfast and then until the late darkness. This quote is from Sweetwater Park information: "These incredible people who had no rights nor freedom during that time had to do heavy labor on a cotton wagon that was loaded with sixteen hundred pounds of seed cotton, it was hauled to the nearest gin and the ginner would take about one -fourth of the seed cotton as his price for ginning. The bale of lint cotton would weigh from five hundred to five hundred fifty pounds. "
"The heaviest physical task in cotton production was the dragging of the sack filled with cotton. When the sack was full, it was thrown across the shoulder and carried to the scales at the cotton wagon where it was weighed and emptied. The amount of cotton picked each day varied with the individual. "
I felt very grateful to be able to hike, see and learn about this incredible history and what african americans had to endure before and during the Civil War. So if you have a chance to go hiking make sure you learn more around your surroundings and enjoy the nature.
Next week I will discuss my beach yoga class at Hollywood Beach Florida!