New Kansas River access to be celebrated
Saturday's float will offer two distinctly different ways to enjoy the Kansas River.
The float from De Soto east to Edwardsville will start and end with dedications of new boat ramps at both cities. In between, the river will offer a relaxing, informative trip down the river or a workout for kayak and canoe veterans looking to flex competitive muscle.
Kansas Riverkeeper Laura Calwell told the members at the May De Soto Chamber of Commerce meeting that she, her husband, Mike Calwell, and other members of the Kansas Riverkeepers take the opportunity to mix in some environmental and educational words when leading floats. Often, those mini-lectures come when groups stop on sandbars for lunch, as floaters will do Saturday.
Activities will start at 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting of the new De Soto ramp north of 79th Street in the West Bottoms. Darrel Zimmerman, who is helping organize the float, said the dedication would include brief remarks by De Soto City Councilwoman Betty Cannon, De Soto Mayor Dave Anderson and Mike Calwell.
Then the float will start.
"I probably got six calls from people today (Tuesday) looking for canoes or wanting to go," he said. "I think we'll have 15 to 20 canoes."
Half of those will be racers, Zimmerman said.
Solo and two-person canoe and kayak races will start at 11 a.m. Entry fees are $5 with the registration extended to the day of the race.
Rental canoes, paddles and life jackets can be reserved from the Friends of the Kaw at (913) 963-3460. A shuttle bus will be available to take people from site to site at $2 per person with children younger than 5 riding free.
Those wanting more information can call Zimmerman at (913) 209-4446 or John Broman at (913) 927-1479.