Our Sustainable Cleveland Summit Pitch for Blazing Paddles on the Cuyahoga River

We’re heading to the Sustainable Cleveland Summit shortly where we’ll be sharing with folks our experience of hosting Blazing Paddles on June 23, 2018, one year before the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire. If you’re not familiar with the fun that happened at Blazing Paddles this year, check out our blog post Blazing Paddles Paddleboard Race Stokes the Cuyahoga River.

Once we got the inaugural Blazing Paddles under our belt, we began to focus on what needed to happen for an expanded Blazing Paddles that would incorporate expanded recreational uses of the river to show the world on June 22, 2019 how far the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland have come since the June 22, 1969 fire.

Someone whispered in our ear we should reach out to Brewster Rhoads, the founder and chair of the Ohio River Paddlefest. After a few conversations with Brewster it became clear we HAD to experience that event for ourselves and we spent three days watching Brewster, his management team, and an army of volunteers host a flawless event on the Ohio River.

Listening to Brewster talk about the vision for the Ohio River Paddlefest reminded us a LOT about our efforts to reframe the Cuyahoga River (and Cleveland) narrative. See if you agree!

One amazing aspect of the Ohio River Paddlefest is how it raises over $100,000 for Outdoor Adventure Clubs of Greater Cincinnati. Imagine what impact an initiative like that could have on Cleveland’s kids. Listen to Outdoor Adventure Clubs’ Executive Director, Kirsten MacDougal talk about how the Ohio River Paddlefest helps Cincinnati area kids.

If we talked with you today and you checked out this post, we hope you have a better feelling for the opportunity at hand. Let’s work together to make it happen on June 22, 2019!