Friday, January 6, 2012

Whitewater park master planning under way

Express Staff Writer

A $58,000 donation from an anonymous source and the enthusiastic support from the Ketchum City Council are enabling a whitewater park project to move from the idea stage to the drawing board.

The City Council on Tuesday approved a contract with Lyons, Colo.,-based S2O Design and Engineering for a master plan and design engineering services. Work performed under the contract cannot exceed $71,572.

Conceptual plans call for incorporating whitewater recreation features for kayaking into the Big Wood River, improvements to wildlife viewing trails and picnic area, and enhancement of riverbank vegetation.

The council's action this week allows S2O to begin work on plans immediately.

Survey work has been completed for the area along the river from the Sun Peak day-use area to the southern edge of Lake Creek. The next step is public outreach.

"That's the most important thing," Jennifer Smith, Ketchum Parks and Recreation director, said in an interview.

She said the public will be asked for input on topics such as what amenities should be included and where they should be placed.

"We want it to be a high level (of participation)," she said. "Community involvement is what's going to make it successful."

Smith said many people and interest groups have been working on the project. The four main stakeholders are the city of Ketchum, Wood River Land Trust, the Blaine County Flood Control District and the Whitewater Park Committee.

The Parks and Recreation Department is project manager.

The city allocated $35,000 from this fiscal year's budget for the master plan. Of that, $20,200 was spent on preliminary survey work as part of the master planning process. Smith said an anonymous donor kicked in nearly $58,000 for the whitewater portion of the master plan.

The idea of a whitewater park has been discussed for several years. The initial step in the multi-year process occurred in 2008, when Ketchum officials applied for a federal recreation and public purposes patent. The patent is like a lease that provides deed-restricted ownership. If approved, it would transfer management of about 217 acres of federal land from the BLM to Ketchum.

"The city is taking a financial risk for a great economic development project," Smith said. "The (patent) hasn't been issued yet, but that's what we're hoping beyond hope, that it will happen."

Rebecca Meany:

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2024 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.