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There's a Plan to Put a Whitewater Park on the LA River

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There may soon be one more recreation option on the list of LA River fun: the Los Angeles Kayaking Club is hoping to add some excitement to the calmly-flowing river in the form of a whitewater park. Charles DeRosa of the LA Kayaking Club tells Curbed that as it is now, "current kayak rides are nice, but it's shallow and scrape-y in some places." If we're already remaking the River, he says, why not do it in a way that might give people a more thrilling experience "instead of a three-mile float"?

The park's construction would involve, of course, not having the bottom of the river be cement (which is in the future for part of the river), and also doing some light grading to create a few drops in the waterway. Those artificial (but fun!) dips and drops would turn up the splash-factor for a short stretch of water.


The Club is in the very early stages of planning—at this point they're just trying to get the word out about the project and gather support from local groups—but they'll be having an engineer out in the coming weeks from S2O Design, which has built similar parks before, to evaluate the river and find the best location for whitewater creation. But wherever the park goes, DeRosa says, the community will benefit: this attraction will not only make the river more exciting, but will also draw spectators and make money for nearby areas by increasing foot-traffic.

The park as DeRosa's imagined it might be around 100 meters long and located in the Glendale Narrows area, where current kayaking operations are based. He's not fixed to that location, though, and says it would be great to bring the park to a section of the river that's not yet been made over. That said, the site of the park will ultimately depend on the recommendations of the engineer and the input of the community.
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