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Patty Shultz uses a new kayak launch that was installed at Rotary Park at Liberty Branch in Gallatin on Feb. 3. JOSH CROSS

Kayakers now have an easier and safer way to enjoy the water at Rotary Park at Liberty Branch in Gallatin.

A kayak launch was installed at the park last week as part of a coordinated effort between the City of Gallatin, Gallatin Morning Rotary Club and the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association. 

“Recreational kayaking has just boomed in the last few years,” Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association past president and current board member James “Woody” Woodall said following the build. “This (project) makes it a lot safer and easier to get in and out of the water and helps people do it even more.”

For the project, six steps were added from the parking area at the park down to the water. It’s the 26th build the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association has been involved with across Middle Tennessee since approximately 2006.

“A lot of places that we’ve built were areas that have been used for years and it has turned into a slick mud bank that has been worn down,” Woodall said. “Now, we’ve got a nice place to go down some stairs instead of slipping and we’re stopping a lot of erosion too on the banks.”

Rotary Park at Liberty Branch is located off North Blue Jay Way behind the Gallatin Driver Services Center near Nashville Pike. The property was leased by the City of Gallatin from the United States Army Corps of Engineers in March 2014 and allowed to be reopened as a park by the Gallatin Morning Rotary Club.

Future plans for the site include the addition of pavilions, picnic tables and barbeque grills. 

“We’re going to put benches out here this summer for fishermen to be able to sit on or just anybody who enjoys the water,” Gallatin Morning Rotary Club President Larry Wise said. “The vision is there. We’re just taking it one step at a time.”

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