A chance to weigh in on river access in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks and opportunities to paddle 24-foot voyageur canoes are on tap in the coming weeks.
First up, Greenway staff and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have scheduled two public meetings to get input on developing a master plan for river access on the Red River in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.
The meetings are scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. May 16 in the East Grand Forks City Hall, 600 Demers Ave., and 6 to 8 p.m. May 19 in the Grand Forks City Hall, 255 N. Fourth St.
Kim Greendahl, Greenway specialist for the city of Grand Forks, said having a master plan in place would simplify the process for adding access as opportunities and funding arise.
“We want to hear from people both motorized and nonmotorized (users) and shore anglers,” Greendahl said. “Where would they like to see more access? What kinds of amenities would they like to see?
“People definitely want to see more access to the shore, especially for shore fishing and also for getting canoes and kayaks out of the water.”
The meetings will be set up as open house sessions so participants don’t have to be on hand the full two hours. The key, Greendahl said, is hearing from constituents.
“Sometimes, we get very removed from what users want, and we want to hear what users want,” she said.
Canoeing events set
Coming up in early June, the International Water Institute, in partnership with Wilderness Inquiry and Ground Up Adventures, is offering a series of paddling events on the Red and Red Lake rivers in Crookston, Thief River Falls and Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.
Andy Ulven, monitoring and education specialist for the International Water Institute, said the free events are open to the public and are intended to get people on — and talking about — their rivers.
Participants will paddle six, 24-foot canoes that hold 10 passengers, Ulven said. Organizers will host elementary and high school students in the mornings and afternoons, he said, with evenings set aside for anyone from the community.
Food and refreshments will be available for the evening events, Ulven said, and each paddling session will last about 20 minutes out and back to accommodate as many people as possible.
Evening canoe sessions are as follows:
- June 8: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Crookston on the Red Lake River in Central. Park.
- June 9: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thief River Falls on the Red Lake and Thief rivers at Centennial Park.
- June 10: 4 to 7 p.m., Grand Forks-East Grand Forks on the Red River at Lincoln Park (boat launch).
For more information, contact Ulven at (701) 429-4518 or by email at email@example.com.