Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hooray For Gateway Bike & Boathouse!

A ha ha ha haaa! Great news from my friend Rick at Gateway Bike & Boathouse!

This just in:

Dear Gateway Bike & Boathouse Supporter,

I’m happy to announce that the National Park Service and Gateway Bike & Boathouse will be working together to provide kayaking opportunities at Riis Landing in Gateway National Recreation Area for the 2011 boating season! This remarkable achievement comes after many years of effort on both sides. A special thanks to all of our supporters who have donated their time, money and support to get us to this point. It will be well worth the wait.

Here’s a quick update on how it’s shaping up:
1. Building #215 in Riis Landing (on the west side of the parking lot opposite the ferry) has been renovated to serve as our boathouse
2. 26 kayaks, singles and doubles, sit in and sit on, have been purchased by NPS through a grant by Coke-a-Cola
3. NPS has asked the Gateway Bike & Boathouse to assist them in running a kayaking program in Riis Landing
4. Programming for 2011 will consist of “walk-up” kayaking for people wanting to try kayaking for first time and organized tours for those with some experience
5. The boathouse being opened to the public during the months of July and August with weekends having set hours and weekday events as scheduled
6. Gateway Bike & Boathouse volunteers who help run the kayak program will earn the privilege of using the boats individually when available
7. There is no room in this facility for any private boats owned by individual GBB supporters at this time
8. There will be no bicycle component this season. We want to focus exclusively on developing a smooth kayaking operation first.

Blogger's side note: That covers the info that the general public who's interested in trying kayaking there needs to know. Website & directions can be found at the end of the post. The initiation of their program means that the Gateway Bike & Boathouse is actively looking for volunteers - the email continued with specific info for people who are interested in that angle. If you are interested in helping out, please read the following, and then contact Rick at RickHoran"at-sign"GatewayBoathouse"dot"org . It's terribly short notice, but if you can't make it, contact him anyways - these walk-up programs always need lots of people & I'm sure Rick would be happy to hear from anyone who can't make it. If you can, tell Rick & John that Bonnie said "Hi" - they are both great guys!
Train the Trainer
The first training session for Gateway Bike & Boathouse volunteers has been scheduled by Park Ranger John Daskalakis, who has been operating NPS’ successful kayaking program in Canarsie. Rita Mullally and Unit Supervisor Dave Taft have also been instrumental in bringing this kayaking program to Rockaway.

John has invited us to participate in a special training session this Thursday, June 30th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Bring your bathing suits as this will be an on-water training session. John will review safety procedures, paddling techniques, the topography of the Riis Landing coastline, current/tide information, procedures for checking out boats and dealing with the public among other topics. The weather is supposed to be beautiful.

Gateway National Recreation Area – Riis Landing. The Boathouse, (Building # 215) is on the left side of the parking lot, just behind Building #217.

Please let me know if you can make it so we know how many folks to expect. If you cannot make this session, there should be other opportunities soon. Hope to see you there!


The Gateway Bike & Boathouse is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization

Congratulations to Rick & the rest of the gang behind the Gateway Bike & Boathouse. It's been a long trail with some ups & downs for them and it is WONDERFUL to see all their hard work finally coming to fruition.

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