Launching hope: eNRG Kayaking North Santiam’s Business of the Year

June, 2017 Posted in Community, Sports & Recreation

IMG_8054By Mary Owen

Kayaking down the North Fork of the Santiam River in the hot sun can be a fun summer activity for many outdoor lovers.

“Our raft trips are very family friendly,” said Sam Drevo of eNRG Kayaking, offering trips out of Mill City. “We allow kids as young as 9 to come along. Paddling is fun for the whole family.”

Offering half-day, full-day rafting and inflatable kayaking guided trips and rentals on the river has earned eNRG Kayaking the North Santiam Chamber Award for Business of the Year.

“It was an honor to win an award from the chamber,” Drevo said. “We do our best to give back to the community, and it is nice to be recognized in that way.”

The North Santiam Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Santiam Awards Night was held April 26 in the Santiam High School auditorium.

The award was given to eNRG Kayaking for its contributions to the local economy. NSCC also noted that Drevo and eNRG Kayaking “helped raise awareness of our river community by expanding our tourism exposure,” and “significantly contributed to our local nonprofits through their many donations.”

In addition to raft trips, eNRG Kayaking offers kids camps, specialty workshops (playboating, creeking, fishing), ACA kayak instructor certification workshops, and river rescue clinics.

“We also buy, sell, rent or trade new and used kayaks, canoes, rafts, paddle boards and related equipment,” Drevo said.

Kayaking is most popular from May to September, but the shop does run shoulder season trips in October/November and March/April, he said.

“The North Fork Santiam is a gem of a river in many ways,” Drevo said. “Exposing people to the river boosts the local economy, promotes a healthy lifestyle, and a lifetime activity. It’s a source of drinking water for the city of Salem, and the story of logging, dam building, and conservation are all interwoven into the culture.”

Drevo believes the North Santiam River will continue to grow in popularity for active recreation, and that “helping to grow the Canyon’s tourism industry will create jobs and opportunity for the next generation while promoting healthy lifestyles.”

“Most people thoroughly enjoy paddling on the Santiam,” he said. “Our students certainly rave about our trips. Our company educates people about proper technique, river safety, and sustainability as it relates to river ethic and becoming river stewards.”

New bathrooms erected in the Mill City Park are a boost to the river area, he said.

“And we’re excited to watch the work our neighbor is putting into renovating the corner building at First and Wall into a restaurant/boutique hotel,” he added. “We are developing plans to make improvements to our building as well.”

Drevo calls the Santiam “a great river” because it is dam release and flows year round.

“It’s fun for rafting, and world class for kayak instruction – our specialty,” he said.

“Our goal is to continue to be a force for good in the Canyon, make the river a little safer, and help expose more Oregonians and visitors to the gem we call the Santiam.”

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