Whitewater Excitment Building on the Trukee

By: Karen Todd
By: Karen Todd

In celebration of National Tourism Week, the Nevada Commission on Tourism is showing off plans to build a whitewater adventure park on the Truckee River.

But funding for the project is still an issue.

What does the project entail?

in all, the Whitewater park project would cost $6 million. But, improvements wouldn't be made to all areas of the river.

They would focus on several sites that either make the river dangerous for recreational activities, or areas that could be put to better use, such as Wingfield Park.

That stretch of the Truckee could soon be *bubbling* with activity. "If you had some controlled access with steps down to the river, it would be a lot easier for kids to play when they're at the park," said Lynn Zonge, of the Whitewater Recreation Plan Committee.

Right now, that's not an option along many areas of the river. At Ambrose Park, for example, the old concrete dam is dangerous for rafters, swimmers, and kayakers.

Said committee member Jim Litchfield: "This structure was probably built back in the 1900's - It's exahausted its useful life.,"

If funding for the whitewater park project goes through, the Nevada Commission on Tourism hopes to pull the barriers out and restructure the riverbed here.

The plan spans 24 miles of the Truckee river, but there are only 9 sites that are being sited for change. Mayberry Park and Idlewild Park are also slated for change.

At Wingfield Park, a $1.5 million project would include modifying the dam, removing some of the wall along the river, and creating large pools for kids to play - along with easy access for parents.

"It's gonna have usage opportunities for kids to float down on intertubes or rafts and families," said Zonge.

As for funding the head Nevada Commission on Tourism says there are several options, including a $10 million bond the county has to improve the river, as well as private contributors and federal and state dollars.

"We're crossing our fingers, but we're not leaving any stone unturned because the magnatude of this project is pretty wonderful," said Bruce Bommarito of the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

If the $1.5 million is secured for the Wingfield Park project by June 1st, the city could start getting construction bids and start work as soon as the Artown festival is over in July.


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