When you think Nebraska, you usually don't think whitewater rafting. However, one Kearney organization has plans to change that.
Back in 2006, Kearney began its research on the possibility of turning flat water into whitewater, but no plans were ever made until just last year.
The Kearney Whitewater Association's goal is to transform the Kearney canal into a 2–mile long whitewater park.
It is planned to start at the spillway near UNK and lead into the Platte River, turning the small town into the ultimate water recreation destination.
"Canoeing and kayaking would be obvious choices, rafting, tubing and stand–up paddle boarding is a very popular sport right now…besides that you can do competition-level kayaking and attract national competitions to the area. Swift water rescue and boy scout training can take place as well," said Carson Rowh, president of KWA.
KWA along with the city and NPPD made recent efforts to clean–up the tailrace area along Yanney Park, from 11th Avenue south to Turkey Creek.
In four hours with about 30 volunteers, the city weighed all of the trash collected, totaling 3.5 tons.
In the half-mile stretch, volunteers pulled out tires, irrigation equipment, mattresses, TV sets, refrigerator compressors, glass, metal, a car door and a car bumper.
Rowh says it's a big improvement but there's still a long way to go.
Moving forward, KWA's main focus is to continue to educate the public and gain more support behind this major project.
If you'd like more information, visit www.facebook/com/kearneywhitewater.