Deserved recognition

Published 9:57 pm Monday, April 24, 2017

The canoe and kayak launch at Sleepy Hole Park is one of two such facilities the city of Suffolk built during the past 18 months or so to give residents better access to the beautiful Nansemond River.

It’s also the recipient of an honorable mention in the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards, and officials from the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation were on hand recently to receive the award during the recent Environment Virginia Symposium at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.

From our perspective, the project should have won the gold medal.

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The Nansemond River is a gorgeous, though over-polluted, natural resource, but for too long it has been largely inaccessible to those who do not either live along it or have a power boat to launch from Suffolk’s only boat launch in nearby Bennett’s Creek.

When the city decided to build two canoe and kayak launches, the one at Sleepy Hole and another at Constant’s Wharf Park and Marina, those who love nature and those who relished the opportunity to paddle the Nansemond were justifiably excited.

The fact that the Sleepy Hole launch point was made part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail was a bonus that could entice another group to enjoy the new amenity: those with a hankering for local history.

Congratulations to the city and to those who worked so hard to make these launches come to fruition. They deserve all the recognition they have received.