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Featured letter to the editor: Big effort needed to make Kinnickinnic 'scenic'

As a forever resident of River Falls, I am flabbergasted by the hype the city administration (and its Parks & Rec Dept.), the Chamber of Commerce and events such as Art on the Kinni and Bacon Bash give to the “scenic proximity” of the Kinnickinnic River.

Am I alone in wondering where the scenic vistas are? Certainly not along 90% or more of the White Pathway!

Both banks of the Kinnickinnic from its entry beyond the Division Street bridge to the dam at Falls Street are so overgrown with sumac and invasive buckthorn and prickly ash that the river is seldom visible.

Add the clustering of un-thinned clumps of maple and basswood plus a proliferation of elm seedlings that grow for four or five years before dying from Dutch elm disease to the mass of vegetation that blocks most of the river flow and surface to be observed.

What was particularly disheartening during Art on the Kinni was the growth of 5-6-feet high ragweed along both sides of the White Pathway, to say nothing of the unfettered weed growth throughout the entire length of the pathway.

A prime example is seen in the small copse of hardwood trees at the south end where the pathway splits and goes around a cluster of oaks that desperately need thinning along with undergrowth control measures. (I'm not talking sprays, but manual care and removal).

The Kinnickinnic riverway could be beautiful and welcoming, but it's not and has gone backwards in the past five years. There needs to be a dedicated plan in place by the city and its departments to bring this asset back to respectability.

If it takes more tax revenue, so be it. I will write a check for $100 myself once a workable plan is formulated.

Rich Timmerman

River Falls