Kent Whitewater Park
Kent kayakers in action
As the City continues to make progress towards developing a whitewater park in Kent, we felt it would be helpful to gather all the different papers, studies and drawings about the concept in one convenient location — and this is it.
I’ve tried to include the numerous blog postings that we’ve done on the concept in chronological order so you can see the evolution of the idea and our progress towards building it.
We’ve also provided the orginal reports and studies in a down-loadable format so that you can have access to the specifics about the project and it’s various elements.
Whether you call it a whitewater park or river recreation, we think the project holds great promise for Kent and hopefully after reading through all these materials you’ll agree.
More Kent kayakers in action
Articles on Kent Whitewater Project and Others Like It
Kent Article “The Gardner Plants His Seeds” Ohio Sports and Fitness Magazine
Reno Nevada Article of a Park Built By Kent’s River Consultant
Johnstown Pennsylvania Article of the Success of Their Whitewater Park
Kent Whitewater PowerPoint Presentation (be patient it loads slowly)
Kent Whitewater Concept Rendering – (map of each park segment)
Kent Whitewater Concept Rendering – (drawing of one cross section)
Kent Whitewater Park Proposal - (original consultant scope of work)
Whitewater Park Research Articles – (articles we had in our files about whitewater parks)
Recreation, Engineering and Planning – (our consultant’s web site) (here’s a photo of our consultant on the way to a third-place finish in the open kayak division at the FIBArk Festival on the Arkansas River.)
BLOG POSTINGS (in reverse chronological order)
I sent City Council an email earlier today that provided a good summary of the status of the downtown whitewater project and I thought it might be of interest to Blog readers as well, so here it is.
I wanted to let you know that in addition to all our RFQ work for downtown redevelopment more work is also continuing on further developing the river/white water park concept. Main Street has paid for the white water consultant to come back to Kent this week to do more on-site investigation of the opportunties available to expand public access and usage of the river across a range of activities, from walking along the banks to canoeing and even kayaking. The consultant is gathering maps, existing plans, photos, data, etc., as well as meeting with stakeholders during the day and hosting a public meeting tonight at 7 pm in the Firestation to better understand what would fit in the Kent community.
On various occassions I’ve rattled on about the prospects of using the river as a catalyst for downtown redevelopment and I’m pleased to report that after enough talk there’s actually going to be some action. Thanks to Main Street Kent and City Parks and Rec, a river expert will be in Kent next Wednesday to investigate the river and to meet with community stakeholders in the evening for further discussion. So consider this your invitation to be a part of the community meeting beginning at 7 pm on Wednesday, July 25th at the Kent Stage.
JULY 12, 2007
Summer is always hectic because of vacation schedules so I thought it might be a good time to catch up on a few items that we’ve been working on.
1. Cuyahoga River Recreational Opportunities Evaluation — After seeing what other cities have been able to do to give their local economy a boost through river recreation, e.g., walking trails, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, etc., the staff and I have been looking at how our river resource could be expanded for economic gain as well. We’ve been researching the issue for a number of months and thanks to the assistance of a new Main Street “River” committee, we’ve enlisted a number of local experts who share a passion for river recreation.
Main Street paid for one of their committee members to attend a conference in Maryland that brought together experts from all over the country to discuss creating whitewater parks in existing rivers. The local kayakers already consider the Kent segment of the Cuyahoga to be one of the best sections of the river to ride but they went to the conference to learn how we could do even more to highlight Kent’s portion of the river for eco/sports tourism. At the conference, the Main Street volunteer talked to one of the leading river recreation engineering firms in the country from Boulder Colorado and it turns out that the firm has been hired by the City of Dayton OH to evaluate the river recreational opportunties in Dayton. The firm offered to visit Kent as part of the Dayton trip and provide a similar evaluation for us (at much less cost since the travel costs from Colorado are already being paid by Dayton).
By David Hill, Guest Blogger
I have been trying to coordinate a trip to the USNWC Charlotte course in conjunction with a work trip but things never seem to go as planned. Then while I was pitching the idea for some whitewater features in Kent to the City, they asked me to participate on the Sports & Leisure Subcommittee for the Main Street Program in order to present a paddlers’ perspective. The Main Street Program was designed to assist small communities in evaluating various downtown redevelopment ideas to promote economic benefits. About this same time I heard about the 2007 Whitewater Courses and Parks seminar being presented at the Wisp Resort and Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) Whitewater course in McHenry, MD.
In my quest to find ways to take advantage of the great river that we have right in the heart of downtown Kent I’ve been really impressed with the way other cities have created their own white water courses where mother nature had not seen fit to do so on her own. These home-made courses let kayakers and rafters get in the river and do their thing. And when they’re doing their thing, other people like to come watch and catch the action and plug-in to the whole eco-vibe.
Since our arrival in Kent my family and I always seem to end up down by the riverside. And we’re never alone down there. We see a lot of fisherman, rock sitters, stone skippers, tree huggers, dam admirers and just old fashioned nature lovers. As we walk the banks the river seems to bring out those deep philosophical discussions and because you can never turn a city manager’s brain off, we often end up talking about how underutilized the Kent riverfront is economically.
Newspaper Coverage (2006 to 2008)
Whitewater Park in Action Video Clip (this is a manmade Whitewater Park in Glenwood CO which our consultant designed)