On the River: Poudre project | AspenTimes.com

On the River: Poudre project

Tim Dudley

If river flows aren’t to your liking around here next weekend, think about this worthy Front Range cause.Friends of the Poudre and the Downtown River Enhancement Project are raising money for the Fort Collins Riverpark, a whitewater park in downtown Fort Collins. Think you’ll never drive more than 100 miles for canned whitewater? Use the event as an excuse to paddle the Poo, one of the top rivers in the state.The Cache la Poudre, Colorado’s first National Wild and Scenic River, tumbles from Rocky Mountain National Park, through Roosevelt National Forest, by Fort Collins and empties into the South Platte River east of Greeley. For years waterhogs have threatened dams and diversions that would rape the river and its host canyon, also popular with hikers, bikers, fishermen and climbers.That would be a tragedy. The river serves up froth for all levels – from Filter Plant’s gentle waves to the Narrows’ raging Class V+ man-eaters. But the best stuff is in between – Bridges, Upper and Lower Mish, and Poudre Park.When you’ve dried off, check out the Mishawaka outdoor music venue overlooking the river for a cold one, nachos and a live tune. It’s a unique experience. Pitch a tent at any one of a number of riverside campsites along the way.The Poudre certainly doesn’t need a manmade whitewater park, but it would be a nice feature in Fort Collins, where the river flows by quietly unnoticed by most. And it just might get more people interested in the river and its protection. The event will have live music, food, beer, and auctions at the Rio Grande Restaurant to benefit the Fort Collins Riverpark. While you’re at the Rio, be sure to order a couple of margaritas. Park supporters say construction on the park could begin as soon as this fall.The event is from 5-11 p.m., May 22 at the Rio Grande Restaurant Ballroom, 149 W. Mountain Ave., Fort Collins. Tickets are a $20 donation, all of which goes to the park efforts and includes a Mexican buffet and two New Belgium brews. Tickets, expected to sell out, can be purchased online. Visit http://www.mountainbuzz.com.

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