Southfork Landing and Cascade Raft and Kayak on Tuesday will announce plans for a whitewater park in the Garden Valley area.
Plans and renderings of the Payette River Whitewater Park at Southfork Landing, a housing development near the Alder Creek Bridge along the South Fork of the Payette River, will be displayed during a joint press conference at 10 a.m. at the Grove Hotel.
Tom Long of Cascade Raft and Kayak, a river outfitting company on the Payette River, will introduce the architect, builder and Olympian spokesperson who will also be involved.
The whitewater park is the first of its kind in the United States and of Olympic caliber design, according to Long. What is being called the first self-contained, pond-to-pond, privately developed whitewater park, will be constructed in the housing development.
Water will be pumped from the lower pond to the upper pond. The system will be self-contained and not connected to the river, said Long.
“We’ll have a standing wave and soft hole,” said Long, who has been teaching whitewater kayaking for 25 years.
The water flow can be lower for beginner boaters or increased when needed for more advanced students. “It will be soft enough to take inner tubes down, or we will add water to make it more difficult,” he said.
“This whole concept is remarkably cool,” said Long. “You can buy a lot up there and carry your boat to the course.”
Long said the design calls for pumping 230 cubic feet per second in the course, the same level as at the Fish Ladder along the Main Payette River at Horseshoe Bend. The Fish Ladder, located at a dam, is a popular play area for kayakers and also a place where Long has taught kayaking.
Long expects to move Cascade Raft and Kayak’s kayak school up to the course. The school teaches about 450 youths each summer.
Long said the course could be completed by next summer.
Whitewater parks are water developments with waves, holes and courses where kayakers can take lessons or train.
Whitewater parks are also being planned along the Boise River in Boise and along the North Fork of the Payette River in Cascade. Fundraising is being conducted for those two public parks.
Pete Zimo: 377-6445