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South Main is a neighborhood designed by kayakers, for kayakers. Cofounder Jed Selby's initial vision for South Main was based on the desire to bring all of life’s necessities, world class kayaking included, within walking distance of one another. That dream has now become a reality. South Main offers the truly unique opportunity for kayakers to suit up at home, shoulder their boat, and walk a few minutes to six outstanding river park features.
Since the project’s inception, South Main has helped to take the Arkansas River and make it an unparalleled community amenity. A century ago the river was viewed primarily as an industrial resource, and a garbage dump occupied the site of what is now South Main. Today more than a mile of new trails wind through the riparian corridor, and in-channel improvements create world class kayaking opportunities, pools and eddies for fishing, and beaches for summertime relaxation.
The Arkansas Valley has long been a destination for whitewater kayakers from across the nation and the globe. Now South Main has taken the sport of kayaking and integrated it into the urban fabric of Buena Vista.
When siblings Jed and Katie first discovered the land on which South Main now sits, public river access was threatened by development that would forever privatize the riverfront. Instead the duo acquired the land and donated the three-acre river corridor to the town of Buena Vista as permanently public parkland.
In 2004, Katie wrote on behalf of the town of Buena Vista a grant to fund a first phase of river park construction. In 2005 these Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) funds were used to construct three new whitewater features and the river trail network, which is now loved by locals and visitors alike.
In 2008, Katie and her husband Dustin wrote a second GOCO grant on behalf of the town to fund the construction of two more whitewater features, two rock climbing boulders, and other river park improvements. The town of Buena Vista was awarded the grant in December of 2008. The climbing boulders will be in place in the summer of 2009 and river park improvements will take place in 2009 and spring of 2010 (click here to read more about the latest GOCO grant).