Stark Parks staff trained area residents Saturday at Walborn Lake, getting them ready to tackle a variety of water sports.
Justin Crawford, education programmer for Stark Parks, said more than 100 people attended the Paddle Skedaddle event at the Lexington Township park.
“A lot of the participants were there to try a boat for the first time, which was our goal for the event,” Crawford said. “We wanted to give the community an opportunity to try something new in the parks, in a safe environment, to see if it would be an activity that they would want to pursue as a recreational hobby.
“It was also a great way to let people know that if they do want to pursue it further, we provide those opportunities through various programs in the parks.”
Participants first spent time learning about personal flotation devices, then learned about the variety of paddles used for activities such as kayaking, paddle-boarding and canoes.
After some instruction, those taking part got to spend time on the water practicing their new skills.
“I would say that the tandem kayaks were the most popular because it gave families an opportunity to paddle together in the same boat, and it’s always a fun experience when you have to work as a team, Crawford said. “The stand-up paddle boards were also a popular commodity because it can be intimidating if you have never done it before, so having our staff and volunteers there to help put a lot of people at ease.”
Area residents can use facilities at Walborn during the summertime for a fee.
Stark County residents can rent a stand-up paddle board, kayak or canoe for $10 per hour Monday through Thursday; and $15 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fees for non-county residents for the same equipment are $12 Monday through Thursday; and $17 Friday through Sunday.
For more information, check out https://starkparks.com/boat-rentals. Walborn Reservoir is at 11324 Price St. NE in Lexington Township. Area residents also can take part in kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding and canoeing at Deer Creek Reservoir at 14514 Price St. NE, also in Lexington Township.