Delaware to improve boat access to Olentangy River

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Image from “Olentangy River Restoration Efforts Improve Aquatic Life” from the USEPA.

Delaware to improve boat access to Olentangy River

Reblogged from the Columbus Dispatch (Thursday, January 29, 2015)

By Dean Narciso

DELAWARE, Ohio — Since Delaware’s early settlement more than 200 years ago, boats and canoes have been launched from its Olentangy River banks.

With the help of a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, there will now be a safer, easier method of entry than climbing over rocks and along crude paths.

The city will use a $152,900 state grant to build three access sites this year. Two will be in Mingo Park and one on Cherry Street, south of the city-owned recycling buildings.

The Mingo Park access will be on the park’s north and south sides. The north site will include timber stairs and handrails leading to a boat-removal area.

The south site will have a paved parking area and a 55-foot paved path to a launch area.

The Cherry Street site will have a gravel parking lot and a 200-foot gravel trail to the river. That site is intended for both launching and boat removal.

Traffic to the sites will be helped by Preservation Parks of Delaware County, which plans to build an entry point at River Run Preserve, north of the city limits near Delaware Dam. Together, these projects will provide the public access to 7.5 miles of water trail.

“Opportunities for our recreational boating community will greatly increase because of these launch sites along the Olentangy River,” Delaware City Manager Tom Homan said in a news release. “ Water trails join communities, provide scenic venues for recreation, increase health and well-being and create educational opportunities.”

Delaware spokesman Lee Yoakum said “the river is not used as much as it could be because access is poor.”

The new facilities, to open around April 2016, should help the river become as important as the city’s network of road and bike paths, Yoakum said.

“It’s truly the heart of the city. It’s where Delaware began.”

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