Imagine taking a guided kayak trip along the Connecticut River at sunset or under the light of a full moon. Or plying the waters of the river for the first time on a paddle board or kayak.
The town has reached an agreement with L.L. Bean to host one of the Freeport, Maine, company’s “Outdoor Discovery Schools” at Riverfront Park from late spring through early fall. The Glastonbury school will offer kayaking and paddle board lessons and guide people out on the river. There will also be sunset and full moon kayaking cruises.
Parks and recreation director Raymond Purtell said the town has been trying to bring an outdoor recreation component to the park since its opening. Spaces on kayak storage racks have sold out and more are being brought in. Purtell said the town has tried to find an outfitter to rent kayaks from the park in the past, but most of them wanted to stay at their own facility.
“It’s a win-win for them and for us,” he said of teaming up with L.L. Bean. “It increases our public access to the water and showcases our fabulous natural resources we have here on the river … This is a good starting point. They have well-qualified staff, equipment and the right level of comfort and their outdoor schools have done really well.”
Town Manager Richard J. Johnson said he continues to look at opportunities for generating revenue and making use of Riverfront Park. He said the town will receive $3,500 from L.L. Bean for access to the site as well as profit sharing over certain thresholds.
Johnson said there shouldn’t be any conflicts with the use of the boat launch and boathouse as participants will be asked to park at the larger lot to the east of the baseball field with river activities taking place far from the launching area.
“We’ve had some folks ask if we could run these classes and this is a nice way to provide very competent instruction and generate small revenue to the town … They understand there are certain times…