Edison State kayakers float, learn, and feast


For the Miami Valley Today.

The Edison State Community College Student Senate enjoyed a beautiful day for their sixth annual Float, Learn, and Feast event. The event brought together over 20 students, faculty, staff, and friends of Edison State for an educational trip down the Great Miami River in Piqua.

Before the kayaks hit the water, Piqua City Planner Kyrsten French discussed the city’s development plans and investments in the area along the Great Miami River in downtown Piqua. A rower herself, the Toledo native studied philosophy and Chinese at Ohio State University before eventually moving to Florida. She and her husband returned to Ohio to start a family.

“It’s very exciting what the city has going on here,” French said. “Downtown revitalization, to me, is the bread and butter of a community. Taking an old place that’s very well suited for walking, biking, or active transportation, getting to know your community, and then turning it back into what it’s supposed to be and reactivating its potential is what I like to do.”

In her role with the City of Piqua, French helps to take inventory of old buildings and determine whether those buildings should be torn down or remediated. One project centers around Lock Nine Park as a potential reconnection to the Miami River from downtown, which will give community members better access to the water.

The float began at Roadside Park in Piqua and ended at the Great Miami River Trail near Bridge Street. Participants floated in kayaks purchased with funds raised during Down a River, Down a Beer (DARDAB) and received a free lunch, t-shirt, and a goodie bag.

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