Floating a new park plan.Byline: Bill Bishop The Register-Guard
With a snappy lift and smooth push, Ed Fredette casts himself and his kayak into the canoe canal in Alton Baker Park Alton Baker Park is located in Eugene, Oregon, United States, near Autzen Stadium. It features duck ponds, bicycle trails, and a dog park, and directly touches the Ferry Street Bridge. for another encounter with `24/7,' the name given to a constant and predictable hole for play-boaters created where the canal spills over a low concrete dam.
Since the early 1990s, Fredette has led a legion of beginning kayakers to the canal to learn, to practice and often to develop a passion for paddling.
"It gets people in direct touch with nature and a lot more aware of water resources, development impacts and pollution," Fredette says. "People who like paddling really like it, are really passionate about it."
Fredette and other paddling enthusiasts are hoping their passion will translate into an overhaul of the canoe canal when the Eugene City Council sets priorities for the city's long-range park plan, which will be up for public hearings in February.
The redesigned canal would put Eugene in the company of more than three dozen U.S. cities that have reshaped and promoted their rivers as whitewater parks for recreation, competition and celebration.
Those who champion the plan see an even grander vision, one that includes whitewater features in the Willamette River Willamette River
River, northwestern Oregon, U.S. It flows north for 300 mi (485 km) into the Columbia River near Portland. Oregon's most populous cities are in its valley. The Fremont Bridge, a steel arch with a main span of 1,225 ft (373 m), crosses the river at Portland. for wave surfing that would make the proposed whitewater park a one-of-a-kind attraction for every type of watersport wa·ter·sport
A sport played or undertaken on or in the water, as swimming, snorkeling, or surfing. and every level of skill.
The growing popularity of river surfing river surfing Sports medicine An 'extreme sport' in which the participant surfs a` la Hawaii on white water rapids Injury risk Concussions, death. See Extreme sports, Novelty seeking behavior. , along with accessibility to Eugene's other amenities, would be a big tourism draw, says Elijah Mack, a river surfing enthusiast and local barber.
"I think it will bring the biggest percentage of tourism, other than UO sports programs," Mack says. "Eugene is a nice place. People are not trying to bring big-time corporations here. This is a good way to bring tourism."
Habitat and humanity
The basic proposal - the one being considered in the city's comprehensive park plan - centers on the canoe canal. Constructed through Alton Baker Park in the mid-1970s, it was intended specifically for boating and passive recreation.
In a nutshell, the plan would replace the canal's hard-edged concrete structures with natural river boulders and other debris to create fish habitat while producing waves and currents for recreational paddling.
But the driving aspects of the proposal - the features that will carry government funding - are the habitat restoration, storm water treatment and pollution control that will come along with the new stream design, city parks officials say.
"We're not trying to do Disney World," says Fredette, who is trip facility manager for the University of Oregon The University of Oregon is a public university located in Eugene, Oregon. The university was founded in 1876, graduating its first class two years later. The University of Oregon is one of 60 members of the Association of American Universities. Outdoor Program and an avid paddler who wrote his master's degree master's degree
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.
Noun 1. thesis on the whitewater park proposal.
"This used to be the river. We put all these things "These Things" is an EP by She Wants Revenge, released in 2005 by Perfect Kiss, a subsidiary of Geffen Records. Music Video
The music video stars Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage. Track Listing
1. "These Things [Radio Edit]" - 3:17
2. in it. What we're trying to do is return it back to a more natural river state. It's better for wildlife, paddlers, fish, aesthetics and safety," Fredette says.
Although simple in concept, the project is destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. for an expensive and prolonged planning, engineering and permitting process, city parks officials say. But first, city leaders must weigh the community's interest in the whitewater park among the many parks and open spaces projects in the new comprehensive plan.
"It would really depend on the community's will, how much priority this gets. We would need to see a fair amount of community will pushing for it," says Carolyn Weiss, the city's interim parks planning manager.
If the plan moves forward, a long list of state and federal agencies would have to assess how it would affect fish, wildlife, and other river users before granting permits to alter the canoe canal or the Willamette River.
The plan would offer an opportunity to address some long-standing problems with the canoe canal, says Trevor Taylor
For example, the concrete duck pond A duck pond is a pond for ducks and other water birds. Often such ponds are artificial and ornamental in nature, in public parks for example. Sometimes they may be less ornamental, in a farmyard for example.
Some duck ponds are purposefully built for the shooting of duck. at the downstream end of the canal collects a big load of fecal bacteria from ducks that are drawn there by people who feed them.
The A Street Canal, a drainage ditch of largely unfiltered Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style.
Remove this template after wikifying. This article has been tagged since Springfield storm Springfield Storm were an American soccer team, who played in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid for one season, in 2005, after which the franchise was relocated to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Lions. water, enters the canal just upstream from the duck pond.
Grand vision, long process
One vision of the whitewater park project would be to build wetlands to filter the storm water and a naturalized nat·u·ral·ize
v. nat·u·ral·ized, nat·u·ral·iz·ing, nat·u·ral·iz·es
1. To grant full citizenship to (one of foreign birth).
2. To adopt (something foreign) into general use. streambed streambed
or stream channel
Any long, narrow, sloping depression on land that had been shaped by flowing water. Streambeds can range in width from a few feet for a brook to several thousand feet for the largest rivers. to replace the duck pond.
A concrete dam near the Autzen Stadium The stadium is tucked between the Willamette River and Coburg Hills. The uniquely shaped bowl blends in with the wooded Eugene landscape. The shape also allows for unique acoustics, making it one of the loudest stadiums in NCAA Football for its capacity. footbridge could be redesigned as a complex series of drops in the canal that spectators could access easily for competitions, demonstrations and everyday recreation, Fredette says.
Public involvement would be essential to any new design for the park, Taylor says.
Interest certainly would be high among residents who have worked hard to spare the Whilamut Natural Area on the east side of Alton Baker Park from intrusive development.
David Sonnichsen, a former chairman of the natural area's 15-member citizen planning committee planning committee n (in local government) → comité m de planificación , says the waterpark proposal appears in line with the natural area's mission. While most of the changes would be outside the natural area, he says he needs more information about safety for stream users, parking and other potential effects from added visitors.
The entire project is so new and unstudied that cost figures have not been calculated. But it's certain to require intense engineering to prevent erosion, to protect the landfill beneath the Whilamut Natural Area, to improve fish habitat and to provide good stream features for recreation.
"It's not a little thing, where you throw a few logs in there. It would take a lot of engineering," Taylor says. "Streams are systems. We would need to do it end to end. It's a big project. It's worth having a long process. You get a better project in the end, one that is sustainable."
Successful idea elsewhere
The whitewater park proposal is not unique. European cities pioneered them, and more than 40 U.S. cities have created one of their own, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Mike Harvey, an engineer with Recreation Engineering and Planning, a firm that has designed a majority of U.S. whitewater parks.
Communities find that their parks draw paddlers from near and far, as well as families, hikers and picnickers who enjoy the easy access to a whitewater setting in the heart of a city, he says.
"The whole appeal of it is accessibility. Families come in one car. The parents play one at a time while the other watches the kids," Harvey says. "Every community you talk to will say it's the best investment they've ever made. It's low maintenance. The return on investment is really tremendous."
The city of Golden, Colo., for example, made its $200,000 waterpark the cornerstone of downtown in 1998. An independent analysis found an economic benefit of between $1.3 million and $2 million for the local economy in 1999, according to city documents. The city expanded the park in 2003. Users range from competitive paddlers to inner tubers.
In other cities, conflicts arose over attempts to alter stream flows. That wouldn't happen in Eugene because the flow in the canoe canal is strong enough for recreation, Fredette says.
The existing bike paths, trails and parking in Alton Baker Park will complement the proposed whitewater park. The idea also blends with the city's new slogan, "The World's Greatest City for the Arts and Outdoors," says Bob Jensen, general manager of Big Green Events, which puts on the Eugene Celebration The Eugene Celebration is an annual community celebration and civic event held in downtown Eugene, Oregon, United States. Featuring bands and performers from throughout the Pacific Northwest, the three-day festival is held in early September and attracts more than 40,000 attendees , Freedom Festival, Filbert filbert: see hazel.
Any of about 15 species of deciduous trees and shrubs that make up the genus Corylus, in the birch family, native to the northern temperate zone; also, the edible nuts they produce. Festival, Art and the Vineyard and other popular community events.
Jensen says he was struck by the crowds he saw attending a charitable fundraising race on Reno's whitewater park on the Truckee River The Truckee River is a river 140 mi (225 km) long in northern California and northern Nevada in the United States. It drains part of the high Sierra Nevada, emptying into Pyramid Lake in the Great Basin. during a visit he made last year.
"I think we haven't necessarily celebrated and recognized the great outdoors we have," Jensen says. "I think it's a great statement for our community. Part of it is getting a vision and a concept. The core of downtown really has a great opportunity."
Rallying the community
If the whitewater park proposal gets strong public support, proponents hope the vision can expand to include river surfing on the Willamette.
Their hope centers on the low concrete dam upstream from Interstate 5 that formerly fed water to the historic Eugene Millrace mill·race
1. The fast-moving stream of water that drives a mill wheel.
2. The channel for the water that drives a mill wheel. Also called millrun. . The structure no longer serves that purpose, but remains a navigation obstacle with dangerous currents that can capsize and trap boaters who venture over it.
Mack, who has surfed rivers on several continents, looks at the hazard and sees "a wave park that is 90 percent built."
Mack, Fredette and others propose changing the configuration of the structure to shape the current into standing waves that can be enjoyed by surfers, body boarders, kayakers, rafters and other river users. The site could produce three to five constant waves for surfing that are much safer than the current conditions around the dam, they say.
With the canoe canal waterpark and river waves, the Eugene proposal would have something for every type of whitewater enthusiast of every skill level, Mack says. The biggest obstacle for proponents may be to convince the community that the whitewater park isn't just for the small percentage of river users who are expert paddlers, says Guy Santiago, co-owner of Oregon River Sports in Glenwood.
"It's an uphill battle Uphill Battle was an metalcore band with elements of grindcore and noisecore. The group was based out of Santa Barbara, California, USA. History
Uphill Battle got some recognition releasing their self-titled record on Relapse Records. . I'm not opposed to it. I think the canoe canal is a fine recreational place to paddle right now," Santiago says.
The project also faces stiff competition from other parks and open spaces projects that have been on the city's long-term projects list for a long time, says Tim Patrick, the city's youth and family services manager for Library, Recreation and Cultural Services.
"It would have to compete against a bunch of other great projects," Patrick says. "I think fundamentally it is an excellent idea that would add a useful amenity to our community."
With public hearings on the parks and open spaces comprehensive plan tentatively scheduled for February, Fredette and others are working to raise community awareness and support.
"What we need to do now is some coalition building," Fredette says. "The whitewater park isn't for the elite. My idea for this is to have it much more open to a wide group of people, including kids, alter-abled people, novices up to expert. We don't want to build something that isn't environmentally friendly Environmentally friendly, also referred to as nature friendly, is a term used to refer to goods and services considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment. or what people want. I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. where the interest is or where it might go."
Ed Fredette launches into the canoe canal at Alton Baker Park. Fredette is an avid paddler who wrote his master's degree thesis on a proposal for a whitewater park at Alton Baker that would create fish habitat while producing waves and currents for recreational use. Kevin Clark Kevin Clark is an assistant men's basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island. He is probably most well-known for his stint as the head coach at St. John's during the 2003–2004 season. / The Register-Guard Karl Moser Karl Moser (August 10, 1860–February 28, 1936) is an architect from Switzerland. Among his works include the design for the University of Zurich. Links tackles "Cotton Candy," a kayak run on the Willamette River. Proponents say the Eugene plan would have something for every type of whitewater enthusiast of every skill level. Mike Thurber does a roll in the Alton Baker Park canoe canal at "24/7," a popular spot for kayakers.