Local Students Hold "Riverpalooza" Event

Published 06/02 2014 02:16PM

Updated 06/02 2014 02:28PM

Local students are working to make the rivers in our area more functional so they held a new event called "Riverpalooza".  The students are with the Mayor's Youth Engagement Council and their goal was to get hundreds of people out onto the water.

It took two large cleanup events by the Mayor's Youth Engagement Council and now the area surrounding the old Wells Street bridge has become a venue for entertainment.

"It's just really exciting to see it all come together."

Morgan Flowers is a Senior at Snyder High School.  She's just one of several local students involved in the Council.

"They're always like, 'the river is so gross', but we just want to show them that it's not that bad."

"The public itself has not seen kayaking like it has today on the river."

Karen Richards has mentored the students and helped make Riverpalooza come to life.  The event featured face painting, bike rides, food trucks, and activities on the river with a big thanks to Concordia High and their rowing crew.

"A lot of people don't know how the rivers are and just to show them a different side of Fort Wayne."

Hundreds of people loaded themselves into kayaks and other boats.  Many say this is just a taste of what Fort Wayne may be if the city pursues developing businesses and restaurants along the river-fronts.

"The more people that see what you can do on the river, the more it'll get used."

"It's really underused resource I lived in Fort Wayne pretty much all my life and up until about 2008, I have never been on the rivers because there was no reason to."

The City is still collecting ideas from the public on this possibility.  In addition, the city has hired a SWA Group from Texas to complete a riverfront study.  That group is expected to present preliminary design options as early as July but a master plan won't be revealed until January 2015.

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