Public Paddle launched in Lbg.

Cathy Kristjanson-Gural, Samantha Pearson, LNC director/Elm Street manager, Kathy Hannaford and Michael Derman, LNC chair, helped unveil the Public Paddle program at Sunday evening at Lewisburg Landing.

LEWISBURG — The annual Lewisburg Picnic in the Park served as a time to launch a new recreational opportunity.

It was announced Sunday evening that canoes and kayaks were being made available through the Public Paddle project. Samantha Pearson, Lewisburg Neighborhoods Corporation (LNC) executive director and Elm Street manager, said requests for their use could be made with a call to 570-523-0114 or email elmstreet@windstream.net. The Public Paddle was offered for the season through the efforts of the LNC and the River Town Team.

Pearson said participants will be asked to sign a liability wavier and to attend a safety briefing. A fee will be charged, but could be waived.

“It is going to cost a little bit of money,” Pearson said. “But if you don’t have money, you can also do volunteer hours. It is $15 for the season (so) work two hours of time.”

Pearson noted that the boats are locked at St. George and South Front streets, with keys dispensed upon signing the waiver and completion of the safety briefing.

“It is not for long distance paddling,” Pearson noted. “Then you would have to figure out how to get the boats back. It is more for going out and having a little ‘spin’ in the evening.”

The safety briefing will include how to property use a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) and basic seamanship. Heading upstream at the start, when the arms are fresh, was recommended.

Mayor Judy Wagner offered kudos to the LNC and the River Town Team for the Public Paddle program and development of an additional park.

“This is a terrific thing for the residents,” Wagner said. “It is beautiful. It is so serene.”

The mayor said parklands within the borough served as great sites to simply enjoy or to be used for special events. The annual picnic, with gourmet food served courtesy of the sponsors, was at Lewisburg Landing for the first time. The former gas company property has seen improvement and increased use in the last year.

Staff Writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at matt@standard-journal.com.

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