Accessible kayak launch opens at Riverside Park

Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids’ first accessible kayak and canoe launch now is available for use.

The city in May opened the new EZ Launch space at the Riverside Park lagoon, at 2001 Monroe Ave. NE.

The launch area features a dock and other accessibility improvements to allow for barrier-free access to the lagoon and Grand River for paddlers of all abilities.

David Marquardt, the city’s parks and recreation director, said the accessible launch is an important piece of the city’s vision for a River For All as Grand River restoration work continues.

“Canoeing and kayaking is ranked among the top recreational activities for Grand Rapids residents, and this important project makes paddling activities more accessible to our entire community,” Marquardt said.

Other accessibility improvements made to the park include the replacement of the existing portable restroom with an accessible portable restroom, addition of handicap parking spaces and new eight-foot-wide paved pathways from the parking lot to the launch.

The projects were funded by a $150,000 recreation passport grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and $80,000 from the city’s parks millage fund.

The EZ Launch is open to the public during normal park hours, daily from dawn to dusk.

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