NEW PHILADELPHIA Dover, Oh

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New Philadelphia, Ohio (WJER) - A local watershed coordinator is working alongside city leaders to make sure the river is safe for paddlers with two new boat ramps drawing nearer to completion. 

Huff Run and Mud Run Watershed Coordinator Marissa Lautzenheiser says she’s been discussing building a portage around the spillway just past the boat ramp behind waterworks fields. She says they also plan to post signage along the river to help paddlers identify portage areas once they are granted their water trail status by ODNR this summer.

“We want the signage to be consistent, that way if you are all the way up in Summit County and you’re putting in near Akron you see the same type of sign that you would see all the way down in Coshocton County,” she says. “That consistency helps there to be less confusion.”

Meanwhile, Lautzenheiser says their efforts to attract people to the river are starting to pay off, with area residents and businesses catching on to the trend.

“When you have a lot of stores that are selling kayaks at such low price points, people are realizing that they can get involved and have a piece of this hobby for less than $200 and have a really fun activity that the whole family can safely enjoy,” she says.

Lautzenheiser says she plans to submit their application for the state water trail designation to ODNR in July, giving them the ability to leverage grants for future river projects if approved.

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