Park Board warms to Red River boathouse project

A rendering of the proposed Red River boathouse. Photo credit: JLG Architects.

Grand Forks Park Board members have warmed considerably toward supporting Ground Up Adventures and its Red River boathouse project.

The remaining question is how many dollars of subsidy will result from the warming. Andy Magness, the Ground Up organizer, is asking for $15,000 over the first three years of operation to get the project rolling. Board President Jay Panzer and other commissioners agreed Tuesday to wait until November’s board meeting to decide on an amount.

Boathouse floor plans. Photo credit: JLG Architects.

“I’ve never been against it; I’ve just never wanted to own or operate it,” Panzer said about previous proposals for park district involvement.

“I like the idea, especially if it involves youth. There are always kids who don’t do mainstream sports. Keeping those kids involved in an active lifestyle in other ways makes a lot of sense.”

Ground Up’s plan is to provide canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for rent on the Red River, operating out of a boathouse just north of the Sorlie Bridge, on city-owned land. The facility will be constructed out of shipping containers. They will be stored each fall and reinstalled after the floodwaters recede.

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Boathouse project estimated costs.

In addition to the Park Board funding, Ground Up Adventures also is seeking donations from the general public.

The organization is selling raffle tickets for a custom made paddleboard — one of the recreation devices it hopes to have at its boathouse.

General donations can be made at the organization’s website, but those wanting to enter the raffle need to bring donations to the Ski & Bike Shop located at 1711 South Washington St. in Grand Forks. More locations to purchase raffle tickets will be announced as they become available.

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