Group Wants Boathouse on Red River For Canoeing, KayakingGRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A nonprofit group wants to make it possible for you to rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards on the Red River.
GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A nonprofit group wants to make it possible for you to rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards on the Red River.
The group wants to build a boathouse on the greenway in East Grand Forks, but some city council members want a closer look at the plans.
Andy Magness with Ground Up Adventures presented four possible sites for a boathouse to be located along the river in East Grand Forks.
But council members don't want a permanent structure built in the flood plain.
"East Grand Forks has the unique position of having access to both the Red River and the Red Lake River," Magness said.
Ground Up Adventures is a nonprofit group that was started in January. The group wants to get more people using both rivers by building a boathouse that's accessible to everyone.
"We have this wonderful greenway and everybody is biking on it and running on it and then right in the middle of it, is this phenomenal river that people either see as dangerous or dirty. People who paddle on it know that it's neither, and so we really want to change the perception and get people out there," Magness said.
The East Grand Forks city council isn't sold on the idea of a permanent structure in the flood plain.
"The rivers aren't used enough and that's something I think that we need to see in our community, both communities, and they do it in maybe many other communities along the Red Lake, Red River. So I'd like to see it but I don't think I'd like to see a permanent structure," East Grand Forks mayor Lynn Stauss said.
The council worries the group will have trouble getting the building approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.
The corps has to approve all flood plain modifications. The council also doesn't want to have a permanent building to deal with in case the group dissolves.
"Those are all valid reasons, so from here what we're going to look at doing is designing a nice, movable structure," Magness said.
The proposed building would be around 20 feet by 20 feet and it will be close to bathrooms and other existing facilities with access to the boat ramp.
"What we're looking to do is just create access, so if people don't have a canoe, they've never canoed before, we want to provide instruction throughout the summer and we also want to provide equipment either for free or for low cost," Magness said.
The next step for the group is to go to site three and design a portable facility. JLG architects in Grand Forks is designing the building pro bono.
Then the design will go back before the council for approval.
After everything goes through the approval process, they will apply for a federal grant which will cover 50 percent of the cost, then they will look for donations or corporate sponsors.