I would like to congratulate the planners of the Stoughton “White Water Park” for trying to bring some interesting activities to our city. Their vision of creating a venue for rafting, tubing, canoeing and Kayaking on the Yahara River conjures up images of pristine mountain stream activities transported to downtown Stoughton. It all sounds too healthy to be true.

My question is – have any of these planners actually taken a look at the Yahara lately?

The Corona pandemic has given my wife and I lots of time to walk and we often use the trails along the river and the footbridges across the Yahara on our walks. It is not a pure, clean mountain stream.

Each spring,the farmers along the Yahara and its tributaries spread their fertilizer and manure to ensure good crops. With every rainfall some of that fertilizer and manure seeps into the river system.

As global warming increases, the water temperature in the Yahara keeps increasing. The excess nutrients and higher temperatures continue to increase the growth of water plants and algae in the river system.

Most of the summer and into the fall the river is green and looks slimy. Is this the setting that rafters, inner tubers, canoeists and kayakers will want to frolic in and splash about?

It may be fine for tranquil gliding along the surface but people don’t swim in the Yahara for a reason. Even on some of the larger lakes in the Yahara system beaches are often closed.

Take a walk and look at the river. Would you travel miles to come here to play in it?

Joe Cabbibo

City of Stoughton