LOWA hopes to teach the importance of rip rap through free kayak lessons

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
Kayaking at Ha Ha Tonka Springs.

It’s heating up around the lake and the water is looking more appealing every day. If you’re the type of person who prefers a paddle to a steering wheel, Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance (LOWA) may have the event for you. 

LOWA will be hosting a series of free kayaking lessons to the public starting May 8 and continuing on the second Saturday of each month through September. The group will loan and attendees a kayak to use for a peaceful morning paddling session in the spring area of Ha Ha Tonka State Park. The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Life vests will be provided.

Donna Swall, LOWA Executive Director, says the group’s main focus is to preserve the water quality of the lake. One of the most important elements of this goal is riprapping the shoreline. Riprapping helps to keep sediment out of the lake that can create a table for bacteria to grow. 

When hosting these kayaking clinics, LOWA members will not only teach participants the skills to kayak, but also the importance of riprap. Swall says that the easiest for them to teach this is by getting people on the water to see it up close and personal. She says their goal is to promote water quality and teach people to appreciate the best asset of the Ozarks. 

Swall says that around a half dozen LOWA members will be present at each event and will be happy to teach everyone present. However, the event is also open to experienced kayakers who want to bring their own gear and simply enjoy the camaraderie. If there is a line of people waiting to get in the water, kayaking trips may be limited on time. 

Swall says LOWA is excited to bring this opportunity back to the community and is thrilled to give people a great morning on the lake while also teaching about the science and importance of rip rapping. 

“It’s been such a pleasure to work with folks around the lake,” Swall said.

For more information or questions, call (309) 838-5564 or check the LOWA website at www.Lowatershed.org.

Full kayaking date schedule: 

May 8

June 12

July 10

August 14

September 11