This seems to have gained a bit more conversation than at times before so why not take yet another stab at organizing what seems to be an un-organizable group of people... We the Whitewater Paddlers!!!
I say this because I too am difficult to organize. I'm an individual and I love to rip off at my own pace. Unfortunately I found out on the last time around that when dealing with the Government unless you have a un-ending source of funding, you have to have support and numbers to achieve any type of action.
In times of past I have tried over and over to rally people, and it has only worked with marginal success. Planned meetings have resulted in a few individuals busting ass but without any further support from the rest of the community that acts interested. Outside of a occasional, heck yea ... I would play at a park - or - Oh man I would love to help, there was little effort invested to actually make things move.
That being said. I want a whitewater park, and I am willing to help and do what it takes to get one built. I will do things I am good at and I will do things I am not. I will show up and plan, and I will show up and take action. Anything short of that from a substantial number of paddlers is going to result in the same outcome.
To really get this rolling, in a direction that I think is new and fresh:
WA is much different than other States in regards to Envior policy, like Nick said. Rocky and Nick both taught me a bit about that, during the last attempt and that is something that must be considered and addressed prior to approaching anyone with the idea. To address this issue you really have to look at what motivates decisions by cities.
If there is questionable enviornmental practice (and until WA has a park any first park will be questionable at best), the first thought is money. Enviornment in washington means $$$. So if the city does not see your project as a substantial Benefit they are not going to risk the investment of time or resources to back it up. Benefit comes in two forms... Service to the Community and seperate but ultimately the same , Profitability.
That means you are going to have to show its first safe for the enviornment and that will be taken in balance with Community Interest and ROI.
To run with this understanding I think we should take a new approach. Its a bummer that we have to go this route because it speaks volumes about our system, but we have to approach this as businessmen with an over inflated voice of community support, because in reality were not a very big group, and if we rely on our numbers to give us voice were not relying on much. We need to be louder with bigger voices to offset our numbers.
To start this I have created a Linked In group for business men and women to join. The purpose of this group is to form a professional network of paddlers that are willing to invest personally (time or money) towards the interest of building a whitewater park.
There are two reasons I like this idea.
First is that my hope is when other paddlers see professionals that are willing to get involved they will pick up suit and join in with a real contribution of effort ect...
Second is that I have already found several city council members in seattle, and other surrounding cities that utilize this network for professional purposes. An introduction from a substantial group of business men and women would be a very unique method and I feel considering the relative success it has in the business world it could help here also. Its like a little snapshot of community participation that could give an official the initial impression that this is business, with community support. Which ultimately is exactly what we need to communicate.
Here is a link to the Group on Linked In. If you not a member check it out. If you are a member join the Group and Help out.http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/705327
And lastly on such a long winded post. Just like any social group, motives and efforts can be misleading and in some cases preventative of success even from within your own direct community. The success of a park in our area will depend on the ability of our direct group to gain support from other related groups, Formal and Informal. This means that we need to enlist help from everyone that will listen and it means that although we will require leadership on the process, there can be no head or foot, but rather braches of equal value all reaching for growth in the same area. Community Support and Involvement to increase the preservation and recreation on Local Rivers.http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/705327
Lets get organized !!!