If you’ve been perusing this website, you’ve picked up by now our “mission” to were designed to get more people into more kayaks – everywhere. That would certainly include parcels of public propoerty where we feel the concept of municipal “PaddleParks” is ready to take root. Just like public spaces allocated for Dog Parks or Skateboard Parks – the time has come to accommodate the engaging popularity of kayaks, and the idea of “communal kayaking” Think of it this way: if the Kayak Condos are hot dogs – PaddleParks are the bun in which you place the hot dog. The condiments – a gazebo, fire pits, picnic tables, benches and lighting – is all a matter of need, affordability, and we suppose, “taste”.
This page discusses 3 conceptual PaddlePark models we’ve envisioned and exhibit in the form of 1/8” and 1/4” scale “diaramas”. We are working on with several municipalities here in Maine to create these unique sites to greatly enhance recreational opportunity and waterfront usage.
We welcome the opportunity to create a “diorama” model for your city or town where the existing waterfront terrain is taken into account, adapted and designed to create a public space built by a collaboration of public and private funding – with an eye towards the new found revenue derived from the rental or lease of Kayak Condos. Lease/rental rates are of course commensurate with location. In that light kayak Condos are a real estate proposition. In Maine, a kayak on a wooden rack might fetch $250 a season. In Boston, make that $750.
We are by no means licensed architects or engineers – but rather “imagineers” – which we believe is a term attributed to Walt Disney. Think of “PaddleParks” as “Disneyland” for kayaks – with hopes of igniting fun and new found recreational experiences for many.
Model 1: A Generic Municipal PaddlePark
This model illustrates a “generic” Paddlepark that could exist anywhere. A grand gazebo is surrounded by Kayak Condos that are generating revenue from roughly 36 Kayak Condos – year-round. The gazebo might/could be built by the town or city – or donated by a service club such as Kawanis or Rotary. Or, a gazebo could be built and dedicated in honor of or to memorialize a prominent citizen. Fire pits, picnic tables, flag poles and other amenties could be sponsored by local businesses, service clubs or individuals. Each Kayak Condo could, in turn, be privately purchased (a tax-deductable contribution here in Maine) – and leased back at reduced rates to individuals, businesses, service clubs, schools, or perhaps local church groups allowing for multi-users to access a kayak or kayaks. The multi-user concept portends to attract more people to the site for recreation or socialization.
This model was created to honor Maine veterans – living and deceased – by placing promotional bricks within a patio area fashioned in the shape of the State of Maine. The site is in the Capital City of Augusta where it seemed an appropiate location.
The promotional bricks would be offered at $100. Encompassing roughly 3500 bricks – the total revenue (beyond the $20 cost of the brick) would be significant – upwards of $280,000 of which onlt $50,000 would be needed to build this project as designed and was carefully budgeted. The revenue would be collected and adjuticated by the local VFW or American Legion posts where the excess funding could be allocated for any number of veteran’s causes and benefits. The polished granite benches surrounding the brick area would be dedicated to the 5 branches of military service – Army, Navy, Airforce, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Note the inclusion of a handicapped launch ramp that would enable disabled veterans and citizens to access to the waterway.
This concept, designed to honor veterans by creating a “living memorial” vs. a solemn site of remembrance, could be adopted by any state in the United States, and we would be delighted to work with any city wishing to adapt and adopt this concept in their state.
This promotional brick patio concept is designed in the shape of the corporate YMCA logo. It should be noted that we have not applied or acquired permission to render the YMCA’s corporate brand in this manner. That said, we hope to approach the corporate headquarters in Chicago so as to allow for ours, and the 2600 other YMCA’s in the United States and Canada to embrace this concept.
Currently, we are working with the Kennebec Valley YMCA in collaboration with the City of
Augusta to make this a reality. The city, having donated the land on which the new YMCA was built in 2003, has designated the waterfront property for the express use as a PaddlePark. But municipal revenues being as strained as they are in Maine while the governor withhold “revenue sharing” poses much difficulty for cities to get things done.
Enter the promotional brick concept. The YMCA would conduct the Brick Campaign. Revenue (approx. 950 bricks X $80 or $76,000) goes to the YMCA who, in turn, purchase labor and materials to appoint the PaddlePark (as modeled) – roughly $30,000 with the balance going, at the YMCA Board’s discretion, to the YMCA’s Endowment Campaign, currently underway. Additionally, the YMCA would enjoy the additional exposure to non-YMCA members and benefits derived by working with the City to create something of lasting and recreational value. Something that has never been done before.
A number of contributions have already been pledged to include additional Kayak Condos, building materials, engineering for the shelter – even an outdoor sound system. We are currently hung up as the project seems to be in conflict with the Endowment Campaign. We understand, but respectfull disagree. A donation is one thing – a (lasting) purchase is another.
The promise of the PaddlePark as well as the self-funding income it brings – should be seen not as an impediment to a capital campaign drive – but rather, an enhancement of a funding process. There are those in a position to generously donate large amounts. But there are those with $100 to buy a brick for themselves, their family, their business or in memory of a loved one – that will last in perpetuity on the City of Augusta waterfront.
As a YMCA member, you can put me down for a brick!