S2O Design Drops New “Whitewater Park Toolkit”

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Want to get a whitewater park built in your community, like so many others are doing around the country? (Salida, Buena Vista, Eagle, Glenwood Springs, Canon City, Boise, Asheville just to name a few.) A new guide shows paddlers and parks and rec managers how to take a local river park from idea to reality.

Whitewater-centered river parks are transforming underutilized or inaccessible rivers into treasured community assets. Paddlers interested in championing a project in their own community now have a resource to help make it happen: the WHITEWATER PARK TOOLKIT – A Paddler’s Guide to Championing a Local Project.

Produced by whitewater park design and river engineering firm S2O Design and Engineering, the Whitewater Park Toolkit provides an inside look at whitewater park design and development and shares what it takes to initiate a river park project locally.

S2o owner Scott Shipley in front of the new Eagle River Whitewater Park.

“We’ve built dozens of successful whitewater parks across the country, and nearly every one was set in motion by a paddler who simply had a vision and took the first step to make it happen,” says S2O Design founder and president Scott Shipley, a three-time Olympian and three-time World Cup whitewater kayak champion. “This Toolkit is designed to foster that enthusiasm and engagement and help take a local river park from an idea to a reality.”

The Whitewater Park Toolkit provides a general understanding of the process, players, and costs involved in building a fun, safe, and environmentally friendly river park, while illustrating that successfully building one requires a mix of planning, preparation, and passion.

The Toolkit includes sections covering site and river considerations, the design and development process, the costs involved, funding opportunities, identifying community stakeholders and key decision-makers, and building municipal and community support. It also addresses the role of the Feasibility Study and Economic Impact Study, and delves into working with river engineering and whitewater park design specialists.

“We’re proud to both create the Toolkit and have it in our arsenal to help river and paddling enthusiasts find their joy in paddling locally,” adds Shipley, whose firm has built some of the highest profile whitewater venues in the world, including the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C., and the Riversport Rapids Whitewater Center in Oklahoma City — as well as a variety of in-stream recreation projects.

The Whitewater Toolkit can be downloaded at www.s2odesign.com/toolkit.