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Free Kayaking Returning to Stuyvesant Cove Park This Summer

 Stuyvesant Cove Park will offer free kayaking to the public on three weekends in July and August.
Kayaking in Stuyvesant Cove Park
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STUYVESANT COVE PARK — Free kayaking is rolling into Stuyvesant Cove Park for three afternoons this summer.

For the third year in a row, volunteers of Long Island City Community Boathouse will paddle at least a dozen kayaks from Queens to Stuyvesant Cove Park for three afternoons in July and August to offer eastside residents a safe way to explore the water.

"There's no proper place to keep boats there right now, but we're hoping to eventually get funds to build something more permanent,” said Weny-Lynn McClean, a spokeswoman for one of the event’s organizers Urbanswim.

“Right now, volunteers have to actually kayak the boats in from Long Island City.”

For the program, participants are asked to gather at the park located on the waterfront between 20th and 23rd streets, where they will be provided with life-vests and will be asked to sign waivers before boarding, McClean said.

Once the kayakers are geared up, they can take the boats out for 20 to 30 minutes at a time while under the supervision of skilled kayakers who will be on-hand to make sure no one strays from the safe zone, McClean said.

“The ‘bay’ at this cove is nestled in a bend in the river which is partially protected from the stronger currents of the East River, making it a great spot to try out kayaking,” she said. “Everywhere else you see barges, ships and drunk speedboaters — and a human on a kayak isn’t always seen.”

Single and double open-topped kayaks will be available, and all skill levels are welcome, she noted.

The dates for this year are June 28 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., July 27 from 2 to 6 p.m. and Aug. 10 from 1:15 to 5:15 p.m.

"The public kayaking events at Stuy Cove are a great way to meet your neighbors and also to get a fresh perspective on the Cove and the river," said East Village resident Chris Fowler, who participated in last year's event.