Hamilton, Ohio – Very few people enjoy sitting in traffic, so quite a few decided not to.
Instead of commuting to work over land, more than a dozen small boats, canoes and kayaks will make the trip into work via the Great Miami River Friday, June 23.
Hamilton’s first Paddle to Work Day is a collaborative effort between the city, the YMCA and the Great Miami Rowing Center.
“It’s more of an awareness builder than a true Paddle to Work,” said GMRC board member Kristina Latta-Lanefeld. “There aren’t that many businesses directly on the water for people to paddle straight to work, but we want people to know what a great resource our river is.”
Several employees from the Fitton Center for Creative Arts - one business people could pull into directly from the river - plan to join the flotilla. Among them, executive director Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, development manager Arnita Gunn, pottery studio manager Amanda Joy Phirman (making her maiden voyage in a new inflatable kayak) and executive assistant Megan Huffman.
They’ll leave from YMCA Camp Campbell Gard (4803 Augspurger Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45011) at about 6:15 a.m. and arrive at the GMRC floating dock (near their Boat Cage and Dock at 110 N. B Street, Hamilton, Ohio 45011) by about 8 a.m.
“My understanding is this is not an athletic event,” Latta-Lanefeld said. “Nobody is racing. It’s a nice easy stroll down the river. It should be a really good time.”
Paddle to Work Day grew out of the Pedal/Ride to Work Day that took place in Hamilton in May. The city worked with the Healthy Hamilton Coalition and Envision Partnerships on that event to promote safe cycling in the area.
“The bike event went really well,” Latta-Lanefeld said. “We wanted to find another way to promote some healthy transportation alternatives. I started reaching out to places along the river and I’ve been happy with the response.
“The Great Miami River is a fantastic piece of water. It’s really safe and it’s really accessible. People view the river and view the rowers out there, but they don’t always think, ‘I could do that.’ Hopefully we can get some more people to think they could and help get them out on the water.”
The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.
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