KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. — About 170 people will spend part of Monday’s Labor Day out on the Elk River in the Kanawha County.

They’re signed up to be part of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition’s Elkspedition Picnic and Paddle which includes a 3.5 mile Elk River trip with kayaks, canoes and rafts from Big Chimney to Coonskin Park.

“It’s a great way to introduce people to the Elk River and its recreational value,” said Kathleen Tyner, outreach manager for the West Virginia Rivers Coalition.

“When you’re on the river and you get to experience it like that, it inspires you to get involved protecting it.”

The paddle begins at 12 p.m. Monday with the Coonskin Park picnic to follow at 3:30 p.m. for those who’ve registered through the West Virginia Rivers Coalition.

Online registration was closed as of last week.

ACE Adventure is scheduled to be on hand providing rafts and shuttle service.

During the event, an Elk River photo map will be displayed to mark the more than one year that has passed since the June 2016 Flood.

Also available in full at wvrivers.org, it’s designed to document lasting flood effects and identify potential future cleanup projects.

Elk River users have submitted the photos all summer.

“We want to get people introduced to the Elk River for all its value. The lower part near Charleston is sometimes undervalued for its recreation and we want to get people out there enjoying it, connecting to it,” Tyner said.

“It’s a beautiful river.”

A separate photo project from the West Virginia Rivers Coalition and Water Reporter continues through October with photography in the headwaters area of the southern Monongahela National Forest, the area known as the “Birthplace of Rivers.”

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition is a statewide nonprofit organization working for fishable, swimmable and drinkable rivers and streams.

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