Leavenworth Looking For Volunteers To Help With River Safety
There's less than three weeks left to apply to be a volunteer Recreation Ambassador in Leavenworth.
The ambassadors work weekends in July and August to assist visitors at trailheads and river entry points around Leavenworth.
Chelan County Commissioner Shon Smith says recreationists need special attention in being warned about the dangers of the Wenatchee River.
"(It's) a very interesting time for Leaven worth with water rescues and people that shouldn't be on the river in equipment that they're getting for four dollars at the mini mart that stay inflated for a few minutes, and then they end up getting rescued," said Smith.
He made comments Monday during a meeting of the three county commissioners after attending a River Recreation Safety Meeting last week in Wenatchee.
Smith says he's interested in limiting access to the river to permit holders, similar to what's done in the high lakes areas.
"I think it's going to get to the tip over, or breaking point," Smith said. "Something is going to have to get done to keep people off of shorelines, keep people off of private property, keep people from putting in at random spots and crushing the banks and causing more erosion issues."
Recreation Ambassadors were dispatched last year to the Barn Beach Take Out location where recreationists are advised to leave the Wenatchee River before dangerous rapids pick up.
The ambassadors were also sent to the East Leavenworth Road Boat Launch, the US Fish & Wildlife Hatchery and the Icicle Road Bridge as well as the US Forest Service Eight Mile and Stuart Lake Trail Heads.
The ambassador program provides a fundraising mechanism for member nonprofits working to raise money for their operations, programs or initiatives.
Grant awards are $2,000 per weekend when certain requirements are met by the ambassadors.
The Recreation Ambassador Program is run through the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce.
The ambassadors provide guest services, outreach patrols and report incidents of notable activity, among other things.
The deadline to apply to be an ambassador is May 5. More info here.
At last week's River Recreation Safety Meeting, stakeholders discussed both their short-term and long-term goals in addressing river recreational safety surrounding Leavenworth and upper Wenatchee Valley areas.
Last Summer, increased water levels and a lack of river safety knowledge from tubers culminated in an increase in water rescue calls and drownings.
The Recreation Ambassador program provides a fundraising mechanism for member nonprofits working to raise money for their operations, programs or initiatives.