:: Support for Bingen Park

What do you think of reinvigorating the beach scene in Bingen?  See below for CGWA’s comments in support of restored and improved river access.  If you would like to comment, please email the Port of Klickitat Commissioners at 509-493-1655, or email Marc (Executive Director) at mthornsbury@portofklickitat.com.

August 17, 2010

Dear Port of Klickitat Commissioners,

The Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association would like to extend our full support to the Port of Klickitat in their effort to restore and improve access to the Columbia River in Bingen.

The Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association is a member-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Hood River, Oregon, dedicated to enhancing the windsurfing experience throughout the Columbia River Gorge.  We represent 600 members from the Pacific Northwest, as well as windsurfers from throughout the U.S. and around the world.

The Columbia River Gorge is home to some of the best windsurfing in the world.  The beauty of the surroundings coupled with unparalleled water and wind conditions brings people from around the world to enjoy what no other place on earth can offer.  Not to mention the diverse non-windsurfing recreational and cultural opportunities this region offers.  The Gorge truly is a top five windsurfing destination world wide.

Bingen has a great opportunity to reinvigorate waterfront recreation at Bingen Park.  The Park was once one of the most used beaches in the Gorge for windsurfing.  While windsurfing at this site has mostly disappeared in recent years, the addition of new water sports has created high levels of congestion along the Hood River waterfront, and new demand for Gorge beaches.  Since Bingen is close to the Hood River Bridge, it is a natural place to expand these water activities.

With railroad tracks on both sides of the river and rip-rap banks leading to the water, most of the Gorge lacks potential for new beaches to be built.  Bingen Park is the perfect place for a “new” Gorge beach.  The Park covers a large area and has a long reach exposed to the river; as such there is great natural potential for diverse user groups.

We hope the Port of Klickitat will take on this endeavor, as it could become a major component of Gorge water recreation, as well as a positive component of Bingen’s economy.  We are happy to contribute to this project by recruiting volunteers to help with work parties throughout the process when appropriate, as well as serving on any committees that may need representation from the windsurfing community.

We fully support the Port of Klickitat if you choose to take on this very welcomed project.

Thank you,

Katie Crafts

Executive Director