Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

November 25, 2013

Here’s why we should have a whitewater park

The following is a summative list of my Top 10 reasons for building a whitewater park in Cumberland.

10) ASCI and the World Championships — Articles in the Times-News have indicated the economic benefit of the artificial course built by visionaries in McHenry. It will bring international recognition and millions of tourism dollars to their community.

Need I say more? The benefits of a whitewater park in Cumberland are less grandiose but in the end they are a more viable alternative since it serves the local population.

9) Western Maryland and the whitewater industry are synonymous — Watch the western migration of cars with kayaks perched atop the car on 1-68 every Friday evening and Saturday morning, and their return migration east late Sunday afternoon.

As with the National Road, Cumberland is the gateway to the west and it is on the migration route to whitewater and outdoor recreation. This fact alone will result in increased tourism at the Cumberland whitewater park.

8) Ohiopyle is a boomtown — Between the rafting industry on the Youghiogheny River and the GAP trail, Ohiopyle is a boomtown. There are no promises that Cumberland will become a boomtown, but there is no question that a whitewater park in Cumberland will help provide significant economic benefit.

7) The Riverwalk concept — The Riverwalk in San Antonio is a good idea, but as noted in previous commentaries, it needs to be adapted to the Cumberland setting. A whitewater park is that adaption. Also, development can occur in the flood plain if it is done correctly.

6) Reconnect with the Potomac River — Cumberland needs to be reconnected with the river. A previous commentary addressed this point in depth. The “no trespass” signs on the Ridgley levees say it all.

5) Canal Place is in need of an attraction — As noted in one of my commentaries, moving water is a natural attraction and the whitewater course within the park attracts both participants and spectators who watch the participants. A whitewater park is a natural for Cumberland and Canal Place too.

4) It creates a free-flowing river. It is a “false choice” that the only two choices are to keep the dam or create a free-flowing river. The whitewater park can utilize the dam in full or in part and the whitewater park creates a free flowing river. It can even create a pool behind the course if desired. Both goals are obtainable.

The real issue is that the environmental movement favors the eel population at the expense of people. Actually, the whitewater park can create a play area for people and at the same time create an environment that favors eel migration.

It is really a win/win rather than a win/lose situation if the environmentalists can see the potential collaboration.

3) A whitewater park is really for the local citizens — Originally, the Great Allegany Passage trail was predicted to serve everyone else but the local population. However, the major users are local citizens.

This is a good thing. The same would be true for a whitewater park. Although it will attract tourists and tourist dollars, the local population will be the major users. The whitewater park is no different than the GAP.

2) The whitewater park is a natural — It creates a reason for people to visit the river. It reconnects people with the river and creates a free-flowing river. It helps Canal Place. It generates tourism dollars, yet it really serves the local population. In summary, it is a natural for Cumberland.

1) Yes, I am available — And yes, I am available to discuss the whitewater park concept with your local civic group. Email me at: rkauffman@frostbur.edu .

Robert B. Kauffman

Frostburg

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014