Newly constructed Watauga River Boat Ramp to be officially named after Bill Beazell

Published 11:35 am Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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The newly constructed and heavily used Watauga River Boat Ramp, located at 335 Lovers Lane Road, will officially be named the Bill Beazell Watauga River Public Access Boat Ramp.

The recognition comes after a great effort between local citizens and several state agencies to build this much needed facility along the beautiful Watauga River. Leading the way was Go Betsy and Chris Little that brought this idea to both local and state governmental agencies. After months of hard work obtaining proper permitting and the approval from TDOT to lease the property to the City of Elizabethton, the project moved forward. Agencies assisting in this project were TVA, TDOT, and the builder of the Boat Ramp, TWRA. Carter County also assisted with the project, including the Carter County Highway Department, the City of Elizabethton, and the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department.

Financial contributors that helped fund this project included funding from TVA, TDOT, TWRA, Carter County, Modern Woodmen, Go Betsy, Elizabethton Chamber of Commerce and Tour Carter County. The Overmountain chapter of Trout Unlimited also supported and contributed to this project and at their request, the new boat ramp was named after Bill Beazell.

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Bill Beazell was on the Board of Directors for the Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited for many years. He served as President, Secretary, and Conservation Chair during his time on the board and never missed a river cleanup. He cared about protecting our cold water resources and did everything he could to keep them clean.

After his passing, we dedicated the Bill Beazell Memorial Cleanup in his name. This annual cleanup on the Watauga River was later renamed the Bill Beazell & Allen Robbins Memorial Tailwater Roundup. The Tailwater Roundup is a river cleanup that occurs each year in March and includes both the Watauga and South Holston Rivers.

He generously donated a portion of his estate to the Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited to be used for local projects. OMTU used $4000 of this money towards the Bill Beazell Boat Ramp on the Watauga River.

The official naming recognition ceremony of the Bill Beazell Watauga River Boat Ramp will take place this coming Friday, March 31, at noon at 335 Lovers Lane Road.