1) How and when was the whitewater park first conceptualized?
It started about 1995 when a small group of friends got together and kicked
around different ideas. But it really got legs when the Nevada Commission on
Tourism gained interest in 1999.
2) How did your group convince city officials and others to support
and create it?
Combine commitment, endurance with a great project, and mix slowly ... It
took a while, but as the idea evolved and grew, the responsible agencies and
groups became less skeptical and somehow started to believe us. The NCOTs
support for the feasibility study in 1999 and the Truckee River Recreation Plan
in 2001 really lent a lot of credibility.
3) After gaining acceptance, how did the park evolve?
The park evolved from a very kayak-centric idea to the whitewater park we
have today. A much broader group of the community enjoys the park than was first
conceived. From its early conception, it took from 1995 to 2003.
4) How is our whitewater park different from other cities?
The most common comment we get is Wow, this is really urban. A
lot of other parks are in smaller communities that are up in the mountains.
We truly have a blend of dense urban feel with a mountain river. It is quite
5) How did you feel when you saw the first section completed last
Pretty happy that the work and contribution of a very diverse group of individuals
could become a reality. Then blown away at the type of reception it received.
From kayakers to tubers, I think we all were a bit surprised by the number of
people who enjoyed it that first summer.
6) Tell us about future expansion plans for the park.
Wingfield Park was the first of several elements we hope to create along the
Truckee River through the Truckee Meadows. The next one slated for development
is in the City of Sparks at the existing Rock Park. We should be under construction
during the late summer of 2006. However, the future parks will be smaller with
less of an engineered feel because they are not in such urban settings as the
park at Wingfield.
7) How has the Reno River Festival helped the park?
The City of Reno and the RSCVA have absolutely hit a home run in the organization,
marketing, and production of the RRF. It is like no other river festival in
the country or the world for that matter. In its second year, it is safe to
say that it has become what all other festivals are measured against.
8) Tell us about the Truckee River Trust.
It was grown out of a small group of paddlers that recognized the obvious
lack of citizen advocacy that focused on river safety, education, recreation,
and access associated with the Truckee River. The TRT hopes to create safety
awareness, recreational opportunities, and athletic development for the community
at large, while focusing on juniors. Your readers can find out more about TRT
9) What has the whitewater park done for Reno?
I like to think it has given folks in our community a reason to go back downtown
and to enjoy the Truckee River in a way that is unique and exciting. We live
in a great place and for far too long the Truckee River and downtown Reno did
not receive the attention that it deserved.
10) How do you and your family enjoy the whitewater park?
My wife and I have enjoyed kayaking and rivers for years but since we have
started our own family we have found it more challenging to find the time to
dedicate a whole day to river running. The park makes it convenient to meet
friends to kayak or to surf alone for a couple of hours. In the summer, our
sons, 3 and 5, are the first ones to put on their life vests and jump into the
holes or swim in the pools.