A kayak-share program could be coming to the Mississippi River

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A kayak-sharing program could be coming to the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi Park Connection – the nonprofit arm of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area – wants to put paddle-share stations (think Nice Ride, but with paddles) along the Mississippi River, according to a resolution before the Minneapolis Park Board.

The Star Tribune says it's a first-of-its-kind service for the National Park Service. And if the Minneapolis Park Board approves the proposal at Wednesday evening's meeting, it could be available as soon as Aug. 11, the Business Journal reports.

It would start out as a pilot program, with two paddle-share stations – one at North Mississippi Regional Park, the other about 4 miles downstream at at Boom Island Park, the proposal says.

How does it work?

Those interested in participating would sign up online to get a code in order to pick up everything they need for the adventure, KSTP says.

The cost to rent a kayak is $30 for an hour, the Star Tribune notes.

Paddlers will pick up their equipment at North Mississippi Regional Park and drop it all off at Boom Island Park, reports say.

A service will bring the kayaks back upstream, so so people don't have to paddle back up the river, the Business Journal explains. And because the paddle-share stations are located near Nice Ride bike-share stations, people will be able to get back to their cars or public transportation.

The paddle-share program is part of the Mississippi Park Connection's Alternative Transportation Plan of 2012, according to the proposal.

The pilot program will cost $215,000, the Star Tribune says. A federal grant, plus a donation from REI will cover all the program costs, the Business Journal notes.

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