A good day for the river

Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tuesday was a great day for the river and those who love it, as city officials celebrated the opening of the second canoe and kayak launch spot on the Nansemond this year.

The project, which cost about $165,200 in local funds, provides the first public access point to the upper portion of the Nansemond River in years, and it brought together city officials, health advocates, history buffs and environmentalists in an unusual alliance that is a picture of good community organization and cooperation.

The new launch is located at the eastern end of Constance Wharf, which is located behind the Hilton Garden Inn on East Constance Road.

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It features an informational kiosk that touts the location as being part of the Capt. John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, while also providing information about the history of the Nansemond River.

The kayak and canoe launch will provide the public the opportunity to access the river from downtown. Before this facility, the only public access to the river was a similar facility at Sleepy Hole Park, in North Suffolk, which opened earlier this year.

The two launch spots will give folks access to the river for paddling, bird watching and lots of other activities that will be beneficial to their health and — ultimately, one hopes — to the health of the city’s waterways. The thinking is that folks who can see the river up close will be more likely to advocate on its behalf.

Kudos to the city and those organizations that worked with it to get these launch points built. They’re a great addition to Suffolk’s recreational offerings.