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Old 04-18-2005   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 46
Maintenance and upkeep of WW parks... Who ya' gonna' call?

OK, here's a topic that I've yet to see on the buzz...

It's been my observsation that the quality of developed WW features tends to degrade over time. Not being a hydrologist or engineer, I would assume that rocks shift and sediment accummulates downstream causing a change in the gradient and/or nature of the feature.

This gradual degradation obviously affects the quality of the experience, and thus ultimately impacts the tourism dollars derived from river development. I believe that municipalities spend money on developing river features not to appease local boaters but to broaden their tourism base. But marketing strategies of WW features for municipalities is a whole other issue...

So anyway, my questions are:

1. Who typically assumes responsibility for the maintenance of WW features?
2. Does the WW park developer assume any responsibility if rocks shift, thus affecting the feature?
3. Do municipalities typically bugdet funds for WW feature upkeep?
4. Do WW park developers advise municipalities, prior to construction, about the caring and maintenance of their WW features?

Just curious what ya'll think.

gard_nerd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2005   #2
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 177
I know in steamboat the park falls under the parks and rec. dept. When the D-hole fell in they used money from the maintenance fund to fix it, just as if a fence had fallen down at the baseball fields or if picnic tables needed to be replaced.

I am not sure, but I think Gary Lacy and his crew came back to help with the reconstruction and I believe they did that at no cost, but not sure about that.

I think the responsibility should fall on the city/municipality who built the park - it is a city park that adds to the amenities of anytown. As for the designer, I think they should stand by their work and help to fix it if it falls, but rivers are a dynamic situation and are constantly changing for better or worse.


Whiskey's for drinkin' and waters for fightin'
- Mark Twain
wycoloboater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2005   #3
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
Gary, Scott and I jumped right in to Steamboat when they needed a re-build at no cost. The bros up there were good enough to give us a couple of dry tops but we re-built the D-hole when it needed to be done at no cost.

Whitewater Parks vary greatly in their ability to hold up over time. The number one factor is the quality of the bed material. If a river is naturally armored, i.e. large cobble and no historic impacts like dredging (Blue in Breck), then they usually hold up well. Sediment deposition and scouring are the number one reason you will see change in a feature year to year. There is not much to be done about that issue. Hopefully most drops scour and deposit in a manner that closely approximates a river's natural cycle, but digging out eddys every few years is an exercise in futility.

Every whitewater park in the State is owned by a city or some municipality and the normal types of maintenance required is the responsibility of the local government. However I know here in Salida I always have to bring things to the City's attention and often have to raise money to make things happen. For example the new hole at the Boatramp was entirely built with money we raised over the winter.

We always tell communities that they will need to maintain the parks but honestly most of the maintence falls under normal park maintenece type of issues. Cities already know this because every recreational ammenity that a community builds requires some level of up-keep.

If you want to e-mail me with the specific issues you are seeing and in which park maybe I can give you a hand. harvey@wwparks.com
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