Five Rivers MetroParks to add amenities to the banks of RiverScape River Run

Renderings of new shade sails, seating and furniture at RiverScape River Run. CONTRIBUTED
Renderings of new shade sails, seating and furniture at RiverScape River Run. CONTRIBUTED

Five Rivers MetroParks plans to install new shade sails, seating and furniture along the south bank of RiverScape River Run to make it an even more comfortable and inviting gathering place.

“We’re really excited that this year we’ll be able to polish the space off,” said Carrie Scarff, Five Rivers MetroParks’ chief of planning and projects. “It’s going to be a really nice hang-out spot.”

Last year, construction was completed on bank improvements by the River Run.

The $4.36 million River Run project removed dangerous low dams and constructed rock structures in the Great Miami River that create passageways for paddlers.

Five Rivers MetroParks also spent about $200,000 building limestone block terrace seating by the River Run, which can hold about 200 people.

The project also created space where food trucks and kayak-delivery vehicles can park and drop-off equipment and small events can be held, Scarff said.

“We’ve created a space where people really can be comfortable and hang out and watch what’s going on, because that’s what we’re finding people want to do,” she said. “They want to be down by the river.”

A man and his dog take a walk along the banks of the Great Miami River at RiverScape. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
A man and his dog take a walk along the banks of the Great Miami River at RiverScape. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

MetroParks will use a $57,700 state paddling enhancement grant and about $105,000 in private funds to acquire and install tables, Chaise lounge chairs, shade structures and other furniture.

The funding will pay to put in a new kayak rack and safety and informational signage, a mural at River Run terrace, a turn-around area for trailers at the second chute near Code Credit Union and safety anchors at both chutes.

The new amenities are expected to be installed by the end of September.

Scarff said it’s unclear whether there will be programming and food trucks at River Run this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Programming involving these new experiences will take as soon as it is safe to do so, officials said.

April and William Perkins live at the Biltmore Towers, a senior living apartment building located a few blocks from RiverScape.

They spend a couple hours along the river nearly every day to walk their dog and enjoy the scenery and fresh air.

“It’s beautiful,” said April Perkins, who is 55.

April and William Perkins hang out at the River Run at RiverScape. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
April and William Perkins hang out at the River Run at RiverScape. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Perkins said lots of people hang out by the river every day, especially families with kids, who seem to like the views and peace and quiet.

“It’s just an all-around great place to be,” she said.