kayak stock

Beginning in February, the city of Richmond will introduce and host the first meeting of the new Richmond Outdoor Committee — a public and private partnership to support and promote outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, and kayaking.

The committee was presented to the Richmond Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday afternoon by Richmond Commissioner Ed McDaniel after he was approached by Kent Lewis of The Cain Pole fishing store around the first of December.

“(Lewis) approached me and said, ‘What do you think about organizing an outdoor committee?’ and being big into the outdoors, I was all for it,” McDaniel recalled.

From there, the recently re-elected commissioner approached businesses such as Mike’s Bike and Hike, Meijer and Dick’s Sporting Goods to gauge their interest in an idea to partner with the city and educate residents about outdoor recreation in the city.

“I asked if they would support a committee in the city that would basically be promoting some of the things that they sell, and they were all for that,” he said. “....The primary focus is that during this pandemic we have seen a lot of people migrating towards doing things outdoors.

“If you went to Dick’s or Durham’s, they are sold out of kayaks. Now, there are a bunch of people with kayaks that don’t know the safety or proper care involved with that,” he said. “This is meant to involve and educate the people of Richmond of what we have to offer in terms of outdoor education.”

Not only will the committee host numerous classes, but the goal is to have excursions or camps throughout Richmond, as well as cleanup days at local parks and creeks to free them up of debris.

He stated the outdoor committee is going to be a support committee to both the Parks and Rec Department and Richmond Tourism. In addition, the group will focus on showing Richmond residents what the city and county have to offer in terms of outdoor recreation instead of traveling farther away.

Thus far, the committee is made up of Commissioner McDaniel with two additional citizens, and two members of the Parks Board.

“We want to focus on the city but not exclude the county so this can benefit everybody,” he explained. “I think it will be and it will be something the kids can have fun with.”

The parks board was well-receptive to the idea and thanked the commissioner before resuming their meeting.

Other business:

• The parks department discussed the outcomes of their Christmas programming including the Santa Express, which was done as a replacement for the Richmond reverse Christmas parade. According to Erin Moore, director of recreation and administration, only seven floats were entered into the parade before its cancellation.

• For the neighborhood and house lighting competition, Moore said there were not as many as they wanted, but 20 houses were nominated in addition to several neighborhoods. Thirty-four citizens responded to the contest.

• The All-A Classic Basketball Tournament was moved to February 16-21 and will feature a limited number of volunteers.

• Progress is being made in efforts to repair the foundation of the 200-year-old Irvinton House on Lancaster Avenue. A presentation will be made to the Richmond City Commission this month.

• The hiring process for Adventure Falls and Paradise Cove will begin at the end of the month.

For more information, visit richmond.ky.us/parks-recreation/.

The Parks and Recreation Board meets the first Tuesday of every month at noon.

Reach Taylor Six at 624-6695 or follow her on Twitter at @TaylorSixRR.

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