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A Kayak Share Service Blossoms in Minneapolis

The National Park Service is bringing the sharing economy to the Mississippi River in Minnesota this month with a first of its kind kayak sharing service.
August 8, 2016, 9am PDT | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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Christopher Crowhurst

Residents and visitors in Minneapolis will soon have access to 32 kayaks available for rent at two stations in and around the city if the city's Parks Board gives its approval. The so-called "paddle share" will allow users to travel up to 4 miles along the 72-mile Mississippi National River and Recreation area, reports Shannon Prather in the Star-Tribune. Users can pick up a kayak, paddles and personal flotation device at one of the paddle share stations. Funding for the program comes from a federal grant and a donation from retailer REI.

"It's a first in the National Park Service," said Susan Overson, landscape architect and park planner with the Mississippi park. "I am really proud of the National Park Service for approving something so innovative and approving the funding for it. I am over-the-top excited to be able to offer a paddle share. … It's for people who don't own their own equipment. It's meant to be easy and affordable."

Prather reports that the kayak share stations will also be located within proximity of the city's bike share program allowing paddlers to end the trip at one station and cycle back to their start point.

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Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 in Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune
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