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Downtown Waterloo white-water park proposed

WATERLOO | A $2.6 million white-water park and kayak course, accessible to the general public, has been proposed along the east bank of the Cedar River in downtown Waterloo.

An engineering firm retained by the downtown Waterloo Development Corp. unveiled the proposal to city officials and business leaders at a meeting this week.

A time frame and funding sources have not been identified. Numerous governmental approvals will be required. But Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark, who is not seeking re-election, said the project will be a priority for the remainder of his term in office.

"I hope nobody leaves this room without being excited about this project," Clark said. "My attitude is this is going to happen. ... What I don't want to happen is the momentum that this meeting has generated to stop.

"We've got a lot of challenges," Clark said. "I hope there's unanimous agreement this is a great project. It's the next big thing for downtown Waterloo, and we just have to go forward."

The proposal basically calls for the course to be developed along an 80-foot-wide strip along the east side of the river between the Park Avenue and Fifth Street bridges.

It would be "a river within a river," said Shane Siegel of Recreation Engineering and Planning of Boulder, Colo., the same firm that developed white-water courses in Manchester, Charles City and elsewhere around the country.

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