A few years ago, the Friends of the Mahoning River approached the city of Girard with an original idea: to build a boat launch along the Mahoning River that would enable kayakers and paddlers to row from Girard all the way to Pennsylvania.
The Friends Group has advocated for increased recreation opportunities on the river since 2012. In 2014, the group went to Girard Mayor Jim Melfi and recommended that they apply for grant money through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The city applied and was awarded $68,000 from the state.
This September, the Friends Group is excited to see their dream of a boat launch become a reality.
“The Girard launch site will merge recreation opportunities between Trumbull and Mahoning Counties on the Mahoning River,” said Don Rex, Board Member with Friends of the Mahoning River.
The city of Girard shared with the Friends Group that it hopes to have the launch site ready be the end of September. The launch site will be just west of downtown Girard, near Front St. and Liberty St. The Friends Group encourages the city to hold a dedication ceremony in October to promote this new addition to the city. At that time, the Friends Group also hopes to lead a paddle event along the river from the new launch site to the B&O site in Youngstown.
Update: September 9, 2017
The clearing for the launch site has begun!
These two photos show the proposed approach and parking areas for the site launch.
This photo shows the beginning stages of the site launch along the Mahoning River in Girard.