Directors say erosion affected Siloam Springs Kayak Park

Silom Springs – Siloam Springs Kayak Park attracts a lot of kayaking, which contributes to bank erosion, according to a report from the Illinois River Watershed Conservation Group.

City administrators unanimously approved a landowner’s agreement to restore the riverbank on a portion of the river at their meeting on August 16.

According to the report, heavy foot traffic has resulted in loss of land throughout the area, which means that there is nothing holding the soil together around the roots of large trees. Subsequent floods eroded much of the soil along the banks of the degraded streams, leaving most of the trees in the river area with damaged and exposed root systems, according to the report.

The report says that if the trees begin to collapse, the voids left by the root balls will become points of future erosion, which could cause a domino effect. If the trees are gone, the park will become a hotter and less fun place.

The report also notes that the lack of trees could mean the city may have to build expensive stone restorations to protect the park’s infrastructure.

According to the report, protecting trees is key to preserving the character of the park and delaying more expensive solutions.

The watershed group plans to contract with the Watershed Conservation Resource Center to develop a riverside restoration plan for two areas of the park, the report said.

Since the proposed restoration area lies entirely within the Bank Canal, major flood events can damage the building, resulting in the need for repairs, the report states. The city’s watershed group recommends building a fence around the restoration area in conjunction with building another fence elsewhere in the kayak park, the report said.

Director Brad Burns agreed that the city still had to control access to the area because there couldn’t be much foot traffic.

“Even after we make that investment, there are things that I think we need to do as a city,” Burns said.

He recommended moving picnic tables and trash cans to the flat field west of the river and charging $1 per car for parking.

Burns said WOKA Whitewater Park plans to charge $10 per vehicle when it opens. According to a press release, the 30-acre Whitewater Park being built on the Oklahoma side of the Illinois River near Watts will host kayaking, windsurfing, stand up paddleboarding, tubing and paddleboarding.

Officials from Siloam Springs and the Grand River Dam Authority in Oklahoma announced the park in October 2020.

Director David Allen said he was the mayor who signed the kayak park in Siloam Springs just 10 years old.

“If you don’t do something now, it won’t last another 10 years,” Allen said.

Don Clark, director of community development, agreed that the kayak park is loved to death. For most of the year, the kayak park functions as a kayak park, Clark said, but it’s also a popular 120-day swimming hole, and the city has to find a better way to manage that and protect the property.

He said the city doesn’t deal with the same customers at the kayak park during those 120 days.

Clark said the city hid the trash cans because it was taking an average of six hours to pull out all the trash from the weekend.

city ​​Council

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: