Whitewater park fundraiser makes a splash | PostIndependent.com

Whitewater park fundraiser makes a splash

Kim Doose

More than 200 supporters joined the Glenwood Whitewater Park Committee in a kick-off fund-raiser on Friday, May 14 at the Buffalo Valley.

The event raised more than $7,000 for a plan that would create a world-class whitewater park in Glenwood.

The site for the park is at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers at Two Rivers Park.

The conceptual diagram has three phases. The first uses strategically placed boulders to create a wave big enough to challenge competitive level kayakers. This phase will also have a pool below, which will incorporate warm water overflow from the Hot Springs Pool.

The second phase will remove noxious weeds and concrete debris that presently litter the banks and instead create a beach for spectators and anglers. The plan will also revegetate and stabilize the riverbanks in that area.

The third phase is a channel that will run only during high water, providing an extreme setting for professional kayakers. This channel will also have a partial diversion that creates a safe area off the main river for people of all ages to learn how to kayak or play in the water.

“We’re looking for events during the slow times in Glenwood for business because the water is flowing all the time.” Said organizer Bob Guska. “The business sales dollars will increase at a time when it’s normally slow.”

Glenwood has enough water to support the park all year because of the Shoshone hydro plant water rights.

Supporters believe if Glenwood chooses to catch this wave, it could do for our city what skiing did for Colorado in the 60s and 70s.

Kayaking, once considered an extreme sport, has hit the mainstream. “It’s a market you want to go after,” said Guska.

According to reports from other similar parks, the project will lure national and international kayakers, which could potentially pump a million dollars into the city’s annual revenue.

You don’t even have to be a river rat to like that idea.

Judy Feinsinger, left, of Glenwood is a Mt. Sopris Montessori teacher, Beth Collier of El Jebel is a nurse at Valley View Hospital and Rebecca Lowry of Silt is a graphic designer.

Joe Bevins, left, of Glenwood is studying biology at Ft. Lewis College, Annie Hoghaug of Glenwood is co-owner of Colorado Canoe and Kayak and Mark Batmale works at Aspen Skiing Company.

Glenwood Springs High School kayakers from left, Jared Abshire, 16, is a sophomore, Hunter Cunningham, 17, is a junior and Beau Harris, 17 is a junior.

John Patrick, left, of Glenwood is an excavator, Jill Randall of Glenwood is a full-time mom, Todd Ericson of Chile owns Chilean Adventures and Chris Barbour of El Jebel is a physical therapist.

Glenwood Springs High School sophomores from left, Sabrina Rice, Angie Vichick and Haley Carmer.

Whitewater park organizers from left, Joe Mollica, of Glenwood teaches biology at Glenwood Springs High School, Jeremy Signorini of Silt is an ex-professional kayaker who owns 2 Rivers Video Productions and Bob Guska of Glenwood is soccer coach at Glenwood Springs High School.

Some of the crew from Summit Canyon Mountaineering who donated this kayak, from left, owner Steve Davis of Glenwood, Mike Brin and Jon Zalinski are sales associates.

Whitewater park organizers from left, Brian Walton, of Glenwood is a sales representative, Michael Freeman is a school psychologist at Mountain BOCES and Scott Butler works at Sopris Engineers.

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