Downtown Spokane has a new and unique location to enter the Spokane River in the heart of the Lilac City. The new access is located on the south side of the Spokane River, under the Division Street Bridge and near the Spokane Convention Center and was made possible through the generosity and partnership of the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Division, the Spokane Public Facilities District, Avista Utilities, and the Spokane River Forum. The new access provides the community unique entry into the vibrant Spokane River in the downtown core and supports the city and the community’s vision for a clean and accessible river.
“It’s exciting to give people another way to access and celebrate the Spokane River. The City is committed to embracing and protecting our greatest natural resource. You will see this in plans for the new Riverfront Park, through river cleanup efforts and through other river celebration events in the Month of September,” said Mayor David Condon.
A grand opening ceremony celebrating the new access point was held on August 19. Members of the community joined the celebration, launching paddleboards, kayaks and canoes as part of the grand opening celebration. “For the public and tourists alike, the river is literally outside our downtown doorstep. Additional access promotes Spokane’s passion for outdoor recreation. Many thanks to all who helped make this vision a reality,” said Andy Dunau, President of the Spokane River Forum. Check out photos from the ceremony here.
Downtown Spokane Paddleboard Tours September 5
To encourage recreation and greater access to the river, the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Division will offer paddleboard tours at the new access point on Saturday, September 5, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The cost is $15 per person. All funds from rentals go toward sustaining this and other community recreation programs. Click here to register online and enter the following codes: 32486; 32487; 32488; 32488.
View a map showing available parking for the Downtown Spokane River Access Point here or check out the Spokane River Forum Water Trail Page to find additional information regarding other Spokane River access points.
Downtown River Access Point History
The Downtown Spokane River Access project was first visualized in the 2011 Spokane Convention Center Completion Project Concept Design Report. The Spokane City Council then changed the City ordinance to allow non-motorized boating up to the west dripline (the west side) of the Division Street Bridge. In the fall of 2013, the Spokane Park Board passed an agreement with the Public Facilities District to provide funding from the Parks Division to support the permitting, design and development of the river access.
New Ways to Celebrate the River in September
September is a month full of ways to support the river. The City and a variety of partners – Avista, the Spokane River Forum, The Lands Council, the Spokane Riverkeeper, and Friends of the Falls – will host these events:
- A “barge” cleanup of larger pieces of garbage between Division and Greene streets the week of September 14.
- An H2O Breakfast on Friday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 a.m., at the Spokane Convention Center with keynote speaker Chad Pregracke, who is known for his cleanup work on the Mississippi River and was CNN’s Hero of the Year in 2013. Register at http://spokaneriver.net/h2o-breakfast/.
- The return of the annual Spokane River Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m. Sign up to volunteer at http://spokaneriver.net/spokanerivercleanup. //