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Accessible kayak and canoe launch installed in Ames

The launch allows adaptive paddlers, including those in wheelchairs, to transition into a canoe or kayak more easily.

AMES, Iowa — A ribbon cutting was held for a new accessible kayak and canoe launch installed at Ada Hayden Heritage Park in Ames. 

The launch allows adaptive paddlers, including those in wheelchairs, to transition into a canoe or kayak more easily.

"Kayaking is really what most people have anxiety about," said a speaker at the event. "So this stabilizes your kayak and a wide variety of people can use it from people who are just starting it out as a sport to people like me who have more physical limitations. I think it's a great asset for everyone in the community." 

The accessible launch project is a public-private partnership between the city of Ames and various local outdoor recreation organizations.  

The system uses a floating dock, a gangway with handrail and a sloped chute to slide the kayak or canoe into the water. 

In addition, a sliding bench and overhead handrails and straps help paddlers transition into the boat. 

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