Ferguson kept event floating

Published 9:31 am Friday, August 7, 2009

When volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts put their paddles into the waters of Symmes Creek Saturday morning we hope all involved take a moment to honor a man who blazed the trail of preservation for this southern Ohio waterway.

The late Art Ferguson, a longtime South Point resident who passed away in 2005, fought tirelessly for the preservation and recognition of Symmes Creek. He co-founded the restoration committee that will host its 12th annual canoe caper this weekend at the boat ramp in Chesapeake.

Ferguson was passionate for this project and continued to hit the smooth waters of Symmes Creek even into his 70s.

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So instrumental, was he that the committee even named the Symmes Creek Canoe Trail in Ferguson’s honor.

By trade, Ferguson was a journalist, spending many years here at The Tribune. But he was also an educator in the South Point School District and later at Ohio University Southern.

But, for many, Ferguson’s greatest legacy will always be his passion for the outdoors and love for the Boy Scouts. Hundreds of youth saw nature in an whole new light with Ferguson as their guide, educating them along the way and enjoying the environment.

Even as he grew long in years, Ferguson’s eyes would light up when he talked about the Boy Scouts or Lawrence County’s wonderful natural resources that he felt didn’t always get the credit they were due.

One of the best stories about Art Ferguson, told in this newspaper once before, involved a visit he once made to a local doctor’s office.

When it came time for Art to pay his bill, the invoice simply said, “Paid for by 1,000 campfires.”

We know Art Ferguson will be along for the ride when those boats slide into Symmes Creek this weekend and that he would proud of all those involved.