PROPOSED CANOE/KAYAK LAUNCH PROJECT
Prince George County has one of the longest stretches of river front of any locality in the Commonwealth because it is contiguous to the both the Appomattox and James Rivers. Unfortunately, there is no public access to either river in Prince George County.
The 2007 Virginia Outdoors Plan cites public river access as one of the primary goals for localities in Virginia. A large stretch of the Appomattox River and the James River are tidal rivers along Prince George and provides unique opportunites for family fun and education in these historic rivers.
The Rotary Club of Prince George County, its Club Foundation, the Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) and the Prince George County Recreation and Parks Department (PGP&R)are uniting to create a canoe/kayak launch at the Appomattox River Regional Park in the county. Ultimately, the goal will be to have an educational pavillion so that river ecology, water safety and other river related programs provided at the site.
The first steps are to develop constructions plan for the canoe/kayak launch, develop a financial plan for the project for the launch, and develop a public relations plan so that the Club can apply to Rotary District 7600 for a District Simplified Grant (DSG) and for FOLAR to apply to the Club's 501 (c) (3) Foundation for a grant to complete the first phase of the project which is to build the canoe/kayak launch.
Recently Carol Woodward from the Club, Wayne Walton from FOLAR and Keith Rotzoll (PGP&R) visited such launches in the area and determined that a variation of the canoe/kayak launch at the Pony Pasture launch at the James River Park in Richmond would be suited to the elevation (about 30 degree slope) and sandy bottom of the site at the Appomattox River Regional Park.
The launch at Pony Pasture is double sided with a sluice in the middle. Kayakers would walk down the steps and be able to lead their canoe or kayak down the sluice. It is likely that due to money constraints, the launch in Prince George would have steps just on one side of the sluice. Our proposal will specify that the risers be of treated timber with rocks in the risers and at the top rather than concrete.
While we were visiting the Pony Pasture Launch a large family with many craft were unloading and preparing to spend a few hours on the river. This picture shows one their craft being guided down the sluice. Note how loaded this large vessel was. It was obviously one of the larger vessels in the group and was therefore carrying the provisions for the outing.
Once we our grant applications completed and submitted the committee (PG Rotary members, PGP&R and FOLAR) will visit other 501 (c) (3)s and other Rotary Clubs to ask for contributions to the project.
More details to be developed...so check back often and see draft grant documents and plans as they are obtained or created below.
Monday, July 19--
Keith Rotzoll, Earl Hale, Wayne Walton, Carol Woodward and her Aussie, Jack, visited the site for the proposed canoe/kayak launch in the newly acquired parcel at the Appomattox River Regional Park which brings the total park size up to about 66 acres. Here, Earl is shooting down the slope as Carol takes his pic to show the slope. Earl allowed as how he had once climbed Mt. Fuji.
The site has a sandy bottom, is about 25 feet from the top and has a slope of about 35 to 40 degrees. Here you can see Lonnie in the middle on the sandy bottom. Yes, there was Poison Ivy here and there.
Lonnie, Earl and Keith discussing the logistics of building on this site. This fall and winter FOLAR will extend the walking trail to the site. In the beginning canoers will need to portage thier canoes or kayaks on this trail. It is hoped ultimately to gain an easesment to the road owned by the Riverside Regional Correctional Facility to the launch site.