Bright future for Albany turtles

Bright future for Albany turtles
Deidra Langstaff was the Junior League president at the time of the turtle project. (Source: WALB)
Deidra Langstaff was the Junior League president at the time of the turtle project. (Source: WALB)
The Flint Riverquarium is working to find sponsors for the turtles. (Source: WALB)
The Flint Riverquarium is working to find sponsors for the turtles. (Source: WALB)
Some turtles need to be repainted. (Source: WALB)
Some turtles need to be repainted. (Source: WALB)
A handful of turtles are sitting in the downtown parking garage. (Source: WALB)
A handful of turtles are sitting in the downtown parking garage. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Driving down the streets of Albany, one can usually find a turtle or two.

"The turtles became a true landmark," said past Junior League president Deidra Langstaff. "Even today, even though they haven't been out as much as we like, even 13 years later they are out and about in the community."

But some of them are getting old.

"They require a lot of upkeep and it is expensive to paint them and redo the fiberglass and that sort of thing," said Langstaff.

Many of them are now kept in a downtown parking garage.

Langstaff was president of the Junior League when they started the project.

She said the condition they're in now is disappointing.

"I wish that the turtles would be revitalized," said Langstaff. "They need to find an organization to be responsible for the turtles."

Some companies have been keeping up with the turtles but others have not. The Flint Riverquarium wants to bring them back to life.

"We wanted to to revive that back," said director Tommy Gregors.

They will be looking for sponsors for the turtles.

To sponsor a large turtle for one year will be $1,000 and $2,500 for three years.

The small ones will be $500 for one year and $1,000 for three years.

"It just sort of makes it a sustainable program and has a life. If someone didn't want to have it forever we could bring it back in and have it repainted," said Gregors.

The money will fund educational programs at the Flint Riverquarium and upkeep for the turtles.

"The core part of what we do is about educating about our environmental awareness on the Flint River," said Gregors.

Gregors said he looks forward to revitalizing a symbol of the city.

"Get a little makeup on them and get them redressed and really be ambassadors for the aquarium and our community," said Gregors.