It’s not hard to look at the old seaplane launch at LaSalle Park and envision it as a functional public amenity. After writing about the lost opportunities back in June, Dennis Beecher (a soon-to-be waterfront activist) sent me an email wondering whether he could help to spearhead the effort. So the two of us biked over there (with his dog and kids) to take a closer look at the ramp. When we arrived, we chatted briefly with a couple of people who were there to take their dog for a swim. They commented on how great it would be to see more people using the site, and how many different opportunites the ramp offers.
Dennis was quick to point out the rebar that was sticking out from the concrete – a dangerous hazard for anyone looking to venture to the water’s edge. He suggested that, once fixed, the ramp could be partially used for launching small watercraft such as canoes and kayaks. I agreed, since there was a bigger boat launch over at Erie Basin Marina. He mentioned that there would be no need to extend the roadway – a big cost saver and insurance factor. Since the ramp has mainly been used (in recent years) by dog owners, I wondered if they could use the feature in conjunction with the boaters. Why not? Dennis told me that if this ramp was to be fixed up, he could see boaters and dog owners co-existing nicely.
At this point, Dennis is looking for help. He’s looking for a few people who would want to volunteer for the effort. He’s pretty sure that he has a friend at Riverkeeper who would be interested. And Jay ‘Micropark’ McCarthy has already told Dennis that he is willing to help. There needs to be a strong, productive voice when approaching The City on this effort. If you have thoughts, ideas that you think could help move this project along, please contact Dennis. He is looking to put together a proposal to take to the City. Thanks to all those who gave their input last month. And if you’ve never volunteered for anything before, maybe this is your chance!