Mimicking whitewater features on a relatively tame stretch of the Spokane River will require a lot of rock-2,000 cubic yards of granite boulders 4 to 6 feet in diameter to be exact. This is one of many revelations in the conceptual design report for the Spokane whitewater park, which was completed in March by Recreation Engineering and Planning based in Boulder, Colorado.
“It’s a positive step forward,” said Steve Faust, Executive Director of Friends of the Falls. “We are really pleased with the way the consultants integrated the community input we had gathered into this report.”
The report recommends finishing in-river structures and removing existing concrete pillars before work on shoreline amenities begins. A double crested “U” drop structure is proposed for the Sandifur Bridge site. It will provide both high and low flow whitewater features for a broad range of paddling abilities.
With the consultant’s report in hand, park promoters are already gearing up for the design, permitting and fundraising challenges ahead, including the need to raise an additional $225,000 for the river portions of the park, much of which will go towards purchasing and placing the boulders that will actually create the park’s whitewater features.
“The final price tag for the park will likely be about $625,000,” said Faust. “$400,000 in state funding has already been secured and an additional $48,000 in private donations helped pay for the conceptual design report,” added Faust.
To cover the remaining costs, Friends of the Falls will be unveiling an “Adopt a Rock” campaign in April, where individuals and businesses will have the chance to fund the placement of one of the hundreds of boulders needed to complete the park for a $250 per rock donation.
“Spokane’s first whitewater park is going to do so many great things for the city by providing increased recreational opportunities for residents, bringing tourist dollars to town and helping to clean up and revitalize an incredible cultural and historical resource at the edge of downtown,” said Faust.
“Our adopt-a-rock campaign is great way for anyone who sees the potential this park holds for our community to make a tangible contribution to this historic, civic effort.”
Friends of the Falls is also looking for businesses and property owners who are willing to donate both boulders and the use of the equipment needed to move them to the site.
To adopt your very own whitewater park rock, contact Friends of the Falls at (509) 981- 6296.