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Bragg Jam donates profits to preserve nature | News

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Bragg Jam donates profits to preserve nature

The president of NewTown Macon, Josh Rogers, says that about 80 to 90 percent of Bragg Jam profits go toward the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail. Over the last 15 years, the festival has generated over $100,000 for the trail.

The Bragg Jam Festival wants to give back to the community, even after the stages clear.

"It has cost about $15 million to build," Rogers explains. "So if we didn't have partnerships like we do with Bragg Jam, the trail wouldn't be possible."

Last year, Bragg Jam made a $40,000 pledge to the trail. They have earned $10,000 so far and hope to make the rest after this year.

"Thanks to Bragg Jam's contribution, people are going to be able to do a one-hour canoe, kayak, or tube float from the top end of the park to the bottom end of the park," says Rogers.

The trail runs over 10 miles from Amerson City Park south along Spring Street to Central Park. Eventually NewTown Macon wants to have both ends connect.

The Board of Directors for Bragg Jam chose to give to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, because it is important to Macon, attracting 100,000 visitors every year.

Rogers says both Bragg Jam and the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail bring the community together in similar ways.

"It's the one night when shoulder to shoulder, every walk of life is enjoying downtown," Rogers says about Bragg Jam. "And the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail is the same thing every day, so it's a really interesting connection between the two."

Park regular Mark Thompson thinks so, too.

"I think it is great that they are using one artistic means to get to another," he says.

He would come out to the park every day, even volunteering as a groundskeeper. The construction at the Amerson River Park area, though, really messed up his schedule.

"When I got out here it was like, 'I can't do it for that long again!'" Thompson laughs.

Soon enough, with the renovations at Amerson River Park, even more people can come out and enjoy it.

"We're all excited for when spring 2015 comes," says Thompson. "I'll be the first one through the gate!"

Just like Bragg Jam, the Trail will keep attracting people old, young, and maybe young at heart.

All of the money for the trail comes from ticket prices and sponsor donations. And the total cost of the trail's final project is about $5 million.

To buy your tickets or find out more about the plans for the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, visit www.braggjam.org.


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