The Buena Vista River Park is the centerpiece of the town of Buena Vista, Colorado for recreation and is 100% open to the public and free for users. The park itself is the longest in Colorado and has a total of five in-stream recreational features. This area also showcases numerous trails, benches, interpretive signs, shade structures, swimming holes, restrooms, changing stations, and much more. The river park is not only used year-round by residents, it has brought in recreational and professional paddlers and surfers from around the globe who have supported events like CKS Paddlefest and the USA Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials.
The BV River Park started in 2001 when the first upstream feature was built by Mike Harvey and REP. Back then, features in whitewater parks were intended primarily for freestyle kayakers. With the boom in "park and play" paddlers visiting the Ark Valley, we came back in 2006 to build the Staircase Wave. This in-stream feature was designed specifically for wave surfers and gave Buena Vista River Park another opportunity for river enthusiasts sharing a desire to surf green waves. The Staircase Wave is very crowded with surfers, kayakers, and bodyboarders and is very popular amongst the locals and the guests of Buena Vista.
In 2014, we built the Pocket Wave, which is just downstream of the Staircase Wave. Pocket Wave was designed to be another great feature for river surfers and kayakers. While the Pocket Wave is amazing at higher and lower flows, it looses its performance characteristics during midrange flows (500-1,500cfs). At above 2000 cfs, the Pocket Wave is one of the top features in the state for all types of surfing. Unfortunately, as the water drops to below 1600 cfs, the "fun" of the wave disappears. Our goal is to revamp this wave structure for the overall enjoyment of all. The design teams have learned a lot in the past 6 years and have insight and knowhow to make these improvements for everyone to enjoy.
Each year the town of Buena Vista contributes $3,500 to match the community’s injection $3,500. In essence, we set aside $7000 annually to maintain and improve the entire park. The maintenance work centers around erosion control, trail maintenance, vegetation rehab, access and in river structure upgrades.
We are hoping to use GoFundMe to raise $3500 that the town will match (dollar for dollar) and can be put towards the Pocket Wave remodel. Pocket Wave 2.0 will be similar in shape to how it is now, with the goal of making it even MORE fun during the mid-summer flows on the Arkansas River. With the huge increase in river park visitation and the explosion of users, it is critical that we act today to plan for a safer and more enjoyable future. We are all excited to see the BV River Park continue to blossom into the future and we would like to thank you in advance for your interest and potential contribution to help our community reach its goals.
BV River Park Crew.
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