Royal Gorge River Initiative Organization is teaming up with American Rivers to sponsor 2022’s Royal Gorge RIO River Clean-Up. Last year they hosted a 35-mile river clean-up which saw them pulling thousand of pounds of rubbish out of the river. This year the clean-up will be on the 1st May 2022, and volunteers are needed. And besides river clean-ups, there are some raft races and whitewater festival events too!
Did you know that the most littered item is food packaging? Mostly from single use fast food restaurants, plastic wrapping, cardboard and paper. RG RIO’s river clean-up offers different options to volunteers like the Canon City River Walk or the Royal Gorge, Big Horn Sheep Canyon, or Upper Bighorn. And anyone and everyone is welcome! Most volunteers walk or boat along the river bank picking up litter, but there are many jobs that do not require significant physical activity.
Life Jacket Loaner Program
They also initiated a life jacket loaner program though the season by working with local businesses and operators to make these jackets easily available to river users, helping save lives.
Head2Head and Slalom race series
May 28 will see the first in the series of the Head2Head and Slalom races, the second being 25 June. Local teams and businesses can register for this friendly competition at Canon City’s Whitewater Park. This event is intended for community members to participate in an amateur recreational whitewater race series, to network, and come together as a community. However, members of the US Rafting Association are invited to participate, but will be compete in an expert division.
Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival
And 22 – 23 July it will be the Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival, which is held annually in beautiful Cañon City, Colorado, where the Arkansas River flows, rages, and tumbles out of the world famous Royal Gorge.
Chris Moffett, president of RG RIO, explains that everything they do is only possible with community support. But he’s says it is great as it is getting people to engage in their river and help out, as it is everybody’s river.
As RG RIO looks to their future they have several goals they hope to complete in the next 10 years. They hope to have the new river surf feature project complete plus some more river work. And they want to host an International Rafting Federation World Rafting Championship. A firm dream! They would also like to see the Royal Gorge Gargoyles Youth Rafting team for 15-19 year-olds going again.
Moffett also says “And we want to continue to provide an awesome Whitewater Festival year after year and continue to advocate for the river and maintain an awesome river corridor through town, with our goal to get locals using it.”
“Officially founded in 2019 as a nonprofit, Royal Gorge RIO started as an idea. Since its early beginnings we have improved river accessibility to our community. The creation of WKRP (whitewater park) has removed man made debris and hazards along the river bank to create a beautiful and inviting place of recreation. Royal Gorge RIO looks to the future to expand on our ideas to create an inclusive river community for all ages and abilities. “
Through water safety education, river conservation, and whitewater recreation we will positively impact our community.
The IRF wishes RG RIO well in their endeavours and hopes to hear more about their activities soon, and looks forward to the day an IRF World Rafting Championships is run there!
Links to Royal Gorge River Initiative Organization:
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