Pickin’ and Paddlin’ for the Deschutes River

One of the best ongoing events in Bend is perfect fun for family & friends of all ages.  The Pickin’ & Paddlin’ series continues for two more months this summer.  Bluegrass, local brews, and paddle sports are the main event in these worthwhile fundraisers for the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance. Hosted by Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe, free boat demos are available in the lawn behind the store, right on the banks of the Deschutes River!  Demos are available from 4 til 7, and then the party and music on stage continue until 10. The next two events feature the Moon Mountain Ramblers on August 25 and the Pitchfork Revolution on September 22.  Here’s a video of Geoff Frank, owner of Tumalo Creek, explaining the event,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBGBQ7wHcE0

The music series and demo days are a fundraiser for the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance (BPTA) and donations are encouraged.  The mission of BPTA, a nonprofit organization, states “BPTA shall promote and establish a navigable paddle trail within Deschutes County that will enhance river and lake recreation and appreciation for a wide variety of recreational water enthusiasts while promoting water safety, education, and stewardship.”

BPTA holds true to this mission with its effort to inform and educate the public about the Colorado Dam Project. (No, we’re not talking about the Colorado River!)  The Colorado Avenue spillway is currently an extreme safety hazard to boaters and floaters on the river.  The proposed project calls for the creation of three waterways through the dam; a chanel for floaters to safely pass through, a second channel with whitewater features for kayakers, surfers and boogie boarders, and a third will maintain water levels for fish and osprey habitat.  In Golden, Colorado, a similar park is estimated to bring in approximately 2 million dollars per year to the local economy!  Such a feature would certainly add to Bend’s quality of life and fit in nicely with other draws like Mt Bachelor, the Cascade Lakes, Bend Ale Trail and the Phils Trail complex!

If you’re interested in learning more about BPTA’s effort, visit http://www.bendpaddletrailalliance.org or just come by one of the remaining Pickin’ & Paddlin’ events and have a great time!

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