From The Pueblo Chieftain (Tracy Harmon):
The expanded park, affectionately dubbed WKRP-Canon City has been expanded to both the west and east of Centennial Park. In addition to beautification of the river corridor, workers removed existing hazards, stabilized stream banks, improved access points and fish passage, plus enhanced the river for rafting, kayaking, tubing and other in-stream activities. Work was designed and implemented by Scott Shipley’s Design and Engineering firm.
Shipley, a Lyon-based kayaker, is a three-time Olympian and World Cup slalom kayak champion who is known locally for his prowess as a long-time competitor in Salida’s FIBArk boat races.
“Canon City has an incredible resource with the Arkansas River running through town,” Shipley said. “We’re thrilled to deliver a whitewater park that gives residents and visitors better and safer access to this iconic river.”
The river improvement project was led by the local whitewater park committee thanks to funds the group raised along with city of Canon City and Fremont County funds as well as a Great Outdoors Colorado grant and private donations.
The park initially opened in 2010 along the section of river next to Centennial Park, but work this year has expanded it between the bridge and the old Reddy ice plant, said Ryan Stevens, Canon City’s interim city administrator…
Unlike other whitewater parks that often suffer flow issues, the Arkansas River boasts predictable flow rates year-round. This balances both the magnitude of the recreational experiences for different user groups as well as the duration, providing attractive flows for users and events later into the season when flows have dissipated in other rivers.
For the first time, Canon City’s river park will be a draw for slalom paddlers, with boulders strategically interspersed throughout its length to great eddies. S2O Design also incorporated a system that will allow for hanging of slalom gates which can be adjusted for different configurations and flows…
The whitewater park will be used next Friday and Saturday during the 11th annual Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival. The festival features a variety of boating events, live music, a running race and more.
For details about the festival, log onto http://www.royalgorgewhitewaterfestival.com.