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Pedal, Paddle and Play event Saturday invites people to enjoy, learn about local rivers

June 8th, 2016


News Coverage:

June 8, 2016

Pedal, Paddle and Play event Saturday invites people to enjoy, learn about local rivers

Kevin Kilbane | News-Sentinel

Area residents will get another opportunity to have fun on Fort Wayne's rivers at the 3Rivers Federal Credit Union Pedal, Paddle and Play event from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday downtown on and along the rivers.

The event, which will include food, live music, fun activities and more, will be based at Fort Wayne Outfitters & Bike Depot, 1004 Cass St. along the St. Marys River.

But participants are encouraged to register to spend from noon to 4 p.m. walking, biking or paddling in a canoe, kayak or paddleboard to several stations along the rivers, where they will learn more about the waterways and how to enjoy them, said Kyle C. Quandt, who is organizing the event for the Northeast Indiana Water Trails group. Those who don't have their own watercraft can rent one at Fort Wayne Outfitters.

At each information station, registered participants can get their event passport stamped, which then can be used to put their name in drawings for prizes when they get back to Fort Wayne Outfitters, said Quandt, a principal planner and finance and grant manager with the Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council (NIRCC).

Registration for a passport is $25 for one person or $45 for two. Children ages 15 and younger are free with a paying adult. Most other event activities are free.

"Our goal is to increase access to the rivers and make it available to people of all abilities, and also to promote environmental stewardship of the rivers," Quandt said.

One key focus of that work is promoting safety on the rivers, she said.

The Northeast Indiana Water Trails group recently was involved in placing safety signs along the rivers to warn boaters and paddlers about dangerous currents around low-head dams on the St. Joseph River at Johnny Appleseed Park and Leo-Cedarville and on the Maumee River at Anthony Boulevard. Warning buoys also are scheduled for placement in the rivers soon, Quandt said.

The water trails group also is printing up copies of a waterproof map, available for a suggested donation of $5 each, that shows public-access locations and amenities, dams, portages, shallows, rocks, land trails, and safety and other information for four local watersheds — Cedar Creek and the St. Marys, St. Joseph and Maumee rivers, Quandt said.

In addition, the water trails group hopes to raise about $10,000 through Saturday's event, which would be used to create an interactive website that people could check for real-time information on river conditions and water quality before deciding whether to go out paddling, she said.

River users also would be able to leave comments about their experiences or changes in the river, such as a fallen tree, and read safety information, she said.

A lot of people are just getting into canoeing or kayaking on local rivers, and they may not be as aware of all safety precautions as an experienced paddler, Quandt said.

Free activities at the Pedal, Paddle and Play include the live music, face painting, balloon animals, henna art, instruction on use of personal flotation safety devices, and information booths by local environmental groups. There is a fee of $5 per person for riding a zip line or using the walking water balls, the latter of which will let users walk on top of the river in a large ball tethered to shore.

People also can buy food at Fort Wayne food trucks.

More Information

Fun on the water

WHAT: First annual 3Rivers Federal Credit Union Pedal, Paddle and Play event featuring travel by foot, bicycle or canoe/kayak to information stations about the rivers and river usage. Routes are about 3 miles on land and 5 miles on the rivers. People also can enjoy live music, food and other events.

WHEN: Noon-7 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Fort Wayne Outfitters & Bike Depot, 1004 Cass St. Parking is available on Cass Street and on the south side of the St. Marys River near the Historic Wells Street Bridge.

COST: Many events are free. Registration for the pedal and paddle trip is $25 for one person, $45 for two people and free for ages 15 and younger with a paying adult. Register online through midnight Wednesday at https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=124398. Register Thursday and Friday (cash only) at Fort Wayne Outfitters, 1004 Cass St., or Earth Adventures, 1804 W. Main St., or on Saturday at the event. You must register to be eligible for prize drawings.

INFORMATION: https://www.facebook.com/NEIndianaWaterTrails

Notes:

There is a fee for food; the zip line and walking water balls each cost $5 per person.

Registration packets can be picked up 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Fort Wayne Outfitters and at the event beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

LOGO WINNER

The Northeast Indiana Water Trails group's logo was designed by Stephen Danielian of Winona Lake, a graphics design major at IPFW. His entry was selected as winner from among contest submissions by students at IPFW, Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast and Huntington University in Huntington.

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