Friends of the Cheat is once again raising money to improve river access in the lower Cheat River Basin. Last year we raised nearly $12,000 to repair road damage to the Cheat Canyon/ Jenkinsburg and Big Sandy/ Rockville access roads. Your gifts not only save wear and tear on your vehicles, but they show how much people value access to the Cheat and Big Sandy Rivers. Please dig deep to help us maintain and improve river access! Again this year, all funds raised through the Whitewater Access Campaign will funnel into our 2018 Run For It purse, which will in turn raise more $$ through race awards (learn how here!) for our Education and Outreach Program. Through Run For It!, your dollars go even further.
A donation of $100 will renew your Friends of the Cheat membership. Those donating over $250 can choose a special gift: either The Canoe and Kayak Guide to West Virginia or an outstanding new safety and rescue guide from Sierra Rescue (please specify which book you would like in the comments to seller box on paypal, or on the memo line of your check). Charlie Walbridge calls these “the most exciting new safety and rescue publications he’s seen in many years.” Choose The River Rescue Handbook or the Wilderness and Remote Access First Aid Guide for $250, or get both for a $500 donation!
This year, we have a goal of $15,000, for these three projects:
1) Jenkinsburg Parking Lot Extension: The West Virginia DNR is allowing us to extend the Jenkinsburg Parking Lot about 100 feet into state land on the opposite side of the road. This will make a big difference on busy days. This work will also block off a number of illegal ATV trails that have been damaging the surrounding woods. Estimated cost: $3000.
2) Ongoing maintenance of the Jenkinsburg and Rockville access roads, identifying the roughest sections and working to improve the road surface and drainage. We use experienced local contractors who have the equipment needed to make a difference. Estimated cost: $8000.
3) Friends of the Cheat recently purchased land by the Cheat River Festival entrance previously owned by White Water Adventurers. The property serves as festival parking and provides a convenient Cheat River access point the rest of the year. It’s also the start of the annual Cheat Canyon Mass Start Downriver Race. Goal: $4000 to help retire a $25,000 debt.