The kayaks funded by a Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) grant have arrived in Richmond and local youth are excited to get out on the water for an official launch Thursday.
We recently told you about the $44,000 grant that is part of a national effort to connect underserved communities to water sports and recreation activities. Along with receiving kayaks, the nonprofit Groundwork Richmond has partnered with the National Park Service and National Park Foundation to ensure youth can get the most out of their upcoming kayak adventures.
On Thursday at 10 a.m., local youth will officially launch their kayaks from their hometown harbor: the Harbormaster’s Boat Launch at 1340 Marina Way South. The kids, who are members of youth development program the Green Team, plan to paddle along the Bay Trail to the East Bay Regional Park District’s Brooks Island.
Thursday’s kayak launch will be attended by city officials, community leaders, and representatives of the funding organizations.
Some youth have already been able to test their new kayaks. Earlier this month, a group “completed their first kayaking experience in and around San Francisco’s Aquatic Park courtesy of SF Maritime National Historical Park,” program officials said in a news release.
“The safety check will prepare Green Team members for future trips in Point Reyes National Seashore, culminating in a spectacular Labor Day weekend of recreation and career awareness outings rounded out by a community service safety detail at the Seashore’s 35th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest,” program officials said.
This same initiative is being done in multiple cities nationwide, including Hudson Valley (Yonkers, NY); Somerville, MA; Denver, CO; Richmond, VA & Cincinnati, OH.