The Ypsilanti Parks and Recreation Commission will be hosting the annual Fall River Day event on Sept. 25 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Frog Island Park. Partnering with Ypsilanti Parks and Recreation for a family-friendly event, there will be kayak rides and educational programs and shows included.
Fall River Day took a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic but is back with new changes. While in previous years attendees had to pay for kayak rentals, this year, both single and double kayaks are free on a first-come, first-served basis made possible by grant funding from MParks. Kayaks will be available for half hour rides, and a shuttle will be present for riders to travel Frog Island Park to Ford Lake.
In addition to kayaking, there will be an educational program on river wildlife, including the Leslie Science and Nature Center hosting a Hunters of the Sky presentation at 1 p.m.
“We’ve tried to have a mix of land and river activities at the event,” Evan Sweet, event coordinator and city council member, said. “We do get a lot of families. We do get a lot of first-time kayakers, which is our intention behind the event is to allow folks that opportunity to kayak for the first time.”
Sweet joined the Parks and Recreation Commission in 2015 and has continued to be a part of it, seeing it as an event for an assortment of people of various kayaking levels.
For students looking for volunteer opportunities, the event offers those as well.
“We’re actually trying to recruit some folks to be our paddle safety volunteers,” Sweet said, stating the need for volunteers who can help beginners and ensure safety for everyone participating.
The Ypsilanti Fall River Day event will be held at Frog Island Park, with kayak launches between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. and shuttles running until 4 p.m. There will be walk-up registration for anyone wishing to participate.