Champion kayaker coming to Potsdam, Canton Monday to discuss development of local whitewater recreation
Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 5:36 pm

One of the best known American kayakers will be at meetings in Canton and Potsdam on Monday to lead community discussions on development of whitewater recreation on local rivers.

Scott Shipley, world-title kayaker and principal engineer of a Colorado company that designs whitewater parks, is visiting to work with local interests on development of water recreation facilities in Potsdam, Canton and Colton.

The Monday meetings are at 5:30 p.m. in Potsdam’s Civic Center Community Room, and at 7:30 p.m. in SUNY Canton’s Goolden Room, adjacent to Cheney Dining Hall. Parking passes for SUNY Canton Lot 13 can be obtained through Canton Economic Developer Linda McQuinn at 386-2871, ext. 5.

Community input is considered vital to the success of these projects.

After the meetings, Shipley, and the company, S2O, will send conceptual plans for park development as part of the work on the Raquette River Corridor Blueway Trail project.

Then, in a second phase, S2O is to assist the three communities in assessing long-term economic and operational considerations for any such developments.

S2O’s consulting role is part of a New York State Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant that is aiding the communities with the St. Lawrence Whitewater Park Project, which was chosen as a priority project by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council in the 2011 round of competition for state development grants.

Other elements of the project include river access improvements at Potsdam’s Ives park and the Town of Colton’s Stone Valley Recreation Area.

Shipley is something of a celebrity in kayaking circles. He participated in kayaking events at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics, and is noted for his innovative designs of whitewater kayaking courses.

More information on these plans is available from Fred Hanss at the Village of Potsdam Office of Planning and Development, 265-1670, [email protected].