2016 Clif Bar Flowing Rivers Campaign Announced

posted July 18, 2016
by Mark Singleton

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American Whitewater is proud to announce the two affiliate club recipients of the 2016 Clif Bar Flowing Rivers Campaign: Merrimack Valley Paddlers and The Blue River Watershed Group! Each group will receive a $1,250 grant to go towards their respective stewardship projects.  
 
Contoocook River Access (NH) - Merrimack Valley Paddlers
Merrimack Valley Paddlers (MVP) has been working to secure permanent access to the upper section of the Contoocook River from Hillsboro to Henniker in central New Hampshire. The "Took" is a highly regarded intermediate whitewater boating run that is regionally significant. Through support of the business and boating community, MVP acquired a 13-acre parcel that is used for boater access when the property went on the market, because the sale of the property would have jeopardized future river access. Working with a local land trust, a conservation easement was obtained and the property donated to the Town of Henniker, thereby assuring perpetual river access.  Local paddlers and the business community plan to complete the project through the construction of an off-street paring area on the parcel, as allowed by the easement.  
 
Blue River (CO) - The Blue River Watershed Group
The Blue River Watershed Group is building community and financial support for design and construction of the Blue River Whitewater Course, located in the Silverthorne, Colorado. The concept of a whitewater park on the Blue River gained momentum in the late 1990’s, as the Town of Silverthorne started planning a stream & fishery enhancement project to ensure that the Blue River remained a prominent recreational attraction. As those early discussions came to fruition, the Town of Silverthorne completed the Blue River Enhancement Project and successfully applied for a Recreational In-Channel Diversion (RICD) for a whitewater park just downstream of the newly-enhanced stream reach. The State of Colorado approved an RICD, including a water rights. As envisioned, these tandem projects will highlight the river through town and provide an economic boost to the local economy, while demonstrating that angling and recreational boating can co-exist – even thrive – given adequate planning and strong community involvement.
 
Thanks again to all the affiliate groups who participated in this year's grant process. Most of all, a huge thanks goes out to Clif Bar for sponsoring this wonderful opportunity for river stewardship!