Whitewater Park a Needed Attraction

Posted by Spalding Hurst

September 20, 2006

The Kentucky Standard
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 9:02 AM EDT

Our Views/Editorials

Work toward reconfiguring a rock dam into a safely navigable whitewater feature along Beech Fork River is moving fast and smooth thanks to the impressive efforts of the Bardstown Boaters paddling club.

The editorial board at The Kentucky Standard supports the group’s effort to add this new recreational feature to the county and we wish them well in their endeavor.

While the park is not planned to be a behemoth $25 million facility similar to what opened in Charlotte, N.C. earlier this year, the proposed Bardstown Whitewater Park would be an asset to sportsmen and youth of our community along with the economy as businesses look to support paddlers and their fans.

The park could be the light at the end of the tunnel for struggling business owners such as canoe outfitter Mike Hammons of Horizon Hoppers Adventure Services who has spent the past five years trying to rent kayaks to outdoor adventure seekers from his shop at the Bardstown-Nelson County Airport.

It could also be a boost for existing businesses such as Keene’s Depot which has already established itself as Bardstown’s sporting supplies store.

Most importantly, the proposed park would provide a good, clean, fun activity for people to enjoy, whether cartwheeling and splashing around on the wave themselves or spectating from the riverbank.

To take an eyesore rock dam that’s not safely navigable for boaters and turn it into a destination will open the river to all sorts of recreational opportunities for many generations to come.

Fishing, wading, tubing and picnicking will follow the kayaking.

We, at The Standard, hope the community, city government and state and federal officials jump on board with the boaters in pursuit of the Bardstown Whitewater Park.

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