Cascade Whitewater Park Work Begins
River bed work begins on Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade, Idaho
“Not only will this provide a world-class amenity for recreationists in Idaho and surrounding states, it will provide an economic boost to Cascade and surrounding areas.” - Mark Pickard
BY TOM GROTE
Work began this week on the water features on Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade after permits were received by the group building the whitewater park.
Crews on Tuesday began placing large sandbags in the North Fork of the Payette River to divert water flows. Once the river is diverted, crews will be able to place boulders on the river bottom to create rapids and holes sought by kayakers and enjoyed by tubers and canoeists.
The work was cleared to start after permits were received by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Idaho Department of Water Resources and the Idaho Department of Lands, said Mark Pickard, who is funding the construction of the park with his wife, Kristina.
The Pickards live in Miami Beach, Fla., and have a home at Tamarack Resort near Donnelly. The couple announced their sponsorship of the project last year.
The park is named in memory of Kelly Brennan, the sister of Kristina Pickard, who died in 1997 at age 23 as a passenger in an auto accident in Utah.
The Pickards have signed an agreement with the nonprofit Friends of Kelly’s Whitewater Park to provide up to $3 million to build the water features and a visitors and observation center on shore.
Project Cost Grows
The couple originally pledged $500,000, but the scope of the project has grown to the point where the additional pledge was required, Mark Pickard said Tuesday. The current budget for the project is $1.47 million.
In addition, the Pickards have pledged up to $100,000 per year for 10 years to subsidize operating costs and to build an endowment fund to support the whitewater park.“This is great news for us to be able to get into the river and great news for kayakers and the people of Valley County,” Pickard said.
“Not only will this provide a world-class amenity for recreationists in Idaho and surrounding states, it will provide an economic boost to Cascade and surrounding areas at a time when it is sorely needed,” he said. If all goes well, construction crews should be able to install at least four of the six whitewater features that are planned for the park before spring flows become too high, Pickard said. Work on the 2,600-square-foot visitor center began in November and is scheduled to be ready for use by the time the spring runoff opens the park for users, he said.
The visitor center and related facilities are being built on 3.4 acres of land donated by Hans Borbonus of Cloverdale Nursery. The land formerly was the site of a Boise Cascade Corp. sawmill that closed in 2001 and was later torn down.
In a related item, Friends of Kelly’s Whitewater Park have donated $10,000 to become a major sponsor of the 2010 McCall Winter Carnival.
“We wanted to acknowledge that Kelly’s Whitewater Park will have economic ripples throughout the county, including McCall, so this is our way of bringing our message to the northern part of the county,” Pickard said.
As part of the sponsorship, the group has commissioned veteran Cascade snow sculptor Jeff Weston to build a sculpture on the plaza at Legacy Park in downtown McCall. The sculpture will feature two women riding in two kayaks, one depicting Kristina Pickard and the other depicting her sister, Kelly.
Also, the Pickards are sponsoring a concert on the Fourth of July to be held in Donnelly with proceeds going to the upkeep of the whitewater park.
For More Information: http://www.mccallstarnews.com
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