By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Driving between Keizer and Salem is simple enough.
But what about canoeing or kayaking between the two?
At a recent meeting, members of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board discussed putting in a canoe and bike locker at Keizer Rapids Park, thus allowing citizens to take the Willamette River to get between the two cities.
The Keizer City Council would still have to approve the plan before it could be submitted for a grant application, but Parks Board members expressed enthusiasm for the proposal.
“Around the bathroom, there’s a little staging area where you can get a boat ready,” said Richard Walsh, chair of the board. “You can take your canoe or kayak off. This would allow people to get to downtown Salem, get the canoe out of the water, lock it to the rack and get on your bike, which is right there. It lays out kind of nice.”
Walsh noted he knows of two Eagle Scouts who would be willing do put in the canoe locker and also a bike rack right next to it.
As conceptualized at the meeting, the locker would hold four canoes. Jim Parent and others suggested either more capacity or building a second locker.
“Four canoes isn’t much,” Parent said. “If you have a kayak, it’s even less. Kayaking has gotten pretty popular.”
Fellow board member Rick Day said he would call the architect about changing the design to accommodate more canoes and kayaks.
Board members approved a motion asking the council to request a canoe locker for Keizer Rapids Park.
Walsh noted the desire to apply for money to construct the project.
“We want to apply for a grant,” Walsh said.
A second motion, also approved unanimously, asked the council to allow an Eagle Scout to build the locker in the designated location, with volunteer labor and thus no cost to the city.
Both motions are expected to be brought before the council this month.