Jones Falls cleared for kayaks, canoes in event to strengthen preservation


Just below the Falls Road Bridge, 73-year-old Michael Beer stands knee deep in the Jones Falls, slicing through the limbs of an uprooted tree with a chain saw.

"Try to [cut] some over here," shouts kayaker Hal Perez over the din of the saw, pointing at another branch down in the waters of the creek. Beer nods and gets back to work.

Yesterday, the two men cleared parts of the river for today's second annual "Canoe and Kayak the Jones Falls" event, beginning at 11 a.m. just south of the Lake Roland dam in Robert E. Lee Memorial Park, and continuing to south of the 41st Street Bridge.

All interested boaters are invited to meet at the park, at Lakeside Drive and Hollins Avenue. Participants without canoes may rent them from local vendors. The ride is expected to last about three hours.

The trip, sponsored by the Jones Falls Watershed Association and the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club, was originally planned as part of the Jones Falls Valley Celebration on Sept. 18, but Hurricane Floyd blew through the area before that weekend, knocking over trees and flooding the river with debris.

Although the floodwaters have since subsided, the trees blown into the river by the storm would have made navigating narrow areas of the Jones Falls nearly impossible.

Nearly 100 of the 7,500 people who came to last year's Jones Falls Valley celebration got into 70 canoes and kayaks for the trip. This year, organizers fear the delay caused by Floyd could reduce the number of people showing up.

Pub Date: 10/02/99

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