Skowhegan Will Be Home To New England’s First Whitewater Park
100-150 years ago, having your town built near a river was a huge deal. It was a source of water, transportation, industry, and good old fun. Fast forward to more modern times where trucking, pollution, and swimming pools are king, and rivers seemed less important, and sadly, less vital in most communities.
Skowhegan is looking to change that. In the summer of 2021, they hope to open New England's first whitewater park. At first, I didn't understand what that it. So i did some sleuthing on the internet, and found that it's a spot where rivers can be altered or augmented, to increase or decrease the water activity.
So if you want to make it more exciting for kayakers, you could add extra little islands and structures that make the water rougher and more exciting. Conversely, if you wanted it smoother fo canoe riders, you could do things to smooth it out.
What they're proposing here, is an "anything floats" style park, according to News Center Maine. This means it can appeal to all types of river activity. From kayaking, to canoeing, to paddle boarding, or just sitting on one the benches on the side of the river, and just taking in all the activity.
These days, now that pollution from years past has been cleaned up, a group of folks has been trying to find new ways to make the section of the Kennebec River that runs through town, more vital to the community.
It sounds like a great plan! They hope to have the park open for business, with 40 brand new jobs in the summer after next. But have no fear, the river will be open year round for all sorts of fun. Especially if you're one of those crazy people that like to do water-fun things in the winter time. Not me, I'll see there in the summah, bub.