1. What is a whitewater/water features park?
Whitewater parks involve the sculpting of river bottoms to achieve flow characteristics
to support the river’s natural ecology while creating recreational features for water
sports, fishing and wading. They take advantage of gravitational energy created by the
natural drop in the river or a man-made dam feature, where the whitewater design
mitigates safety concerns of normal dams. The features enable safe raft, tube, canoe,
kayak and even recreational boating passage. Materials are normally natural and
native, including plantings.
2. What is the timeline?
Commencing and completion of the project is determined by many variables, including
final DNR approval, weather and funding. The City Council has signed off on the project,
signage plans have been completed, coordination of sponsor agreements is progressing.
Completion estimates are FY2024.
3. What are the economic benefits of a whitewater park?
See the Whitewater Park Market Study and Economic Impact Analysis conducted by the
City of Cedar Falls here.
In general, with whitewater parks becoming more common, empirical evidence is
readily available. Both Charles City and Manchester have provided positive figures in
their annual economic impact numbers, including hotel stays, fuel, food, outfitting, etc.
From an operating cost perspective, the benefit arrives at nearly no cost because unlike
a golf course or pool, a whitewater facility has no direct operating costs.
4. Will the Cedar River Experience be accessible to people with disabilities?
Everything in the design is held under strict ADA (American Disability Act) rules for construction (trail slope, curbing, rails when needed) to allow for inclusive access for everyone. Persons involved with the design process have worked with individuals from The Wounded Warrior Project to have special consideration. Additional consultation will be accepted from additional parties in order make the Cedar Falls park easier and more fun for anyone with disabilities.
5. What is the proposed budget?