Surf and kayak rally to highlight river park

STATESMAN STAFFJune 19, 2014 

0619 out reclede

A kayaker surfs the wave at the Boise River Park.

PETE ZIMOWSKY — pzimowsky@idahostatesman.com

World-class paddlers and surfers will be at the wave in the Boise River Park, today, June 23, demonstrating their skills.

Friends of the Park volunteers are sponsoring the Boise River Park Surf and Kayak Rally from 6 to 8 p.m. It's free.

The rally will showcase the whitewater athletes, many of whom will participate in the Payette River Games at Kelly's Whitewater Park in Cascade, June 21 and 22.

The event is planned to highlight the park's potential as a venue for whitewater events. It is located off 3900 W. Pleasanton Ave. near Quinn's Pond.

"Parks like these across the country generate enthusiasm among river users and spectators alike," said Paul Collins, an avid kayaker and president of the Friends of the Park board. "This event will showcase the park's potential to be a draw from both an economic and quality of life standpoint."

The Friends of the Park is a volunteer board that worked in partnership with the City of Boise to raise funds to replace the old irrigation diversion with a $3.6 million dam that includes maneuverable flashboards or wave shapers.

Scheduled for the rally are women's world champion stand- up paddleboarder Nikki Gregg, river surfing pioneer Elijah Mack and six-time member of the USA Freestyle Kayak Team Bryan Kirk.

The park's diversion and shoreline plaza area were dedicated in June 2013.

The city has since enlisted a design team to develop plans for Phase II of the Boise River Park downstream from the diversion to complete the park. Friends of the Park will launch efforts in the coming weeks to raise a projected $7.3 million to fund the plans.

Park supporters will be on hand with illustrations to explain the future phases of the Boise River Park. Parking will be available in the gravel lots behind Idaho River Sports, 3100 Whitewater Park Blvd., or at Veterans Memorial Park, downstream.

To learn more about the event, go to boiseriverpark.com.

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