MOUNT VERNON – Ariel-Foundation Park has announced Beginner Kayak Adventure Courses being offered this summer, every other Saturday starting June 1, with two session options: 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m.

Classes are intended for those 16 years of age and older and cost $25 per person. All equipment is provided.

This course is designed as a brief introduction to paddling and maneuvering a kayak. Participants are presented with basic information on dressing to paddle safety, potential hazards and simple rescues. A minimal paddle skill is presented and practiced, allowing students to safely and comfortably maneuver on still water. The goal is to emphasize safety, enjoyment and skill acquisition for entry level paddlers.

Jody Holland, Nature Programs Coordinator, is the course instructor. He is American Canoe Association Level 1 certified and has more than 30 years of experience on the water with kayaks, canoes and paddleboards.

“The popularity of kayaking is growing. It is relatively inexpensive, kayaks are easy to lift and haul and learn to use. You can do it by yourself or with others,” explained Holland. “People of a variety of physical activity levels can participate.”

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, there were more than 84 thousand registered kayaks (not including liveries) in Ohio in 2015. That number represents a growth of more than 30 percent since 2010. Ariel-Foundation Park is also excited for the ADA accessible kayak launch to be added to the central lake later this summer through the Paddle for Heroes organization.

Dates for Beginner Kayak Adventure Courses include June 1, June 15, June 29, July 13, July 27, Aug. 10, 24, and Sept. 7. Participants may select a morning or afternoon session. If a session is cancelled due to inclement weather, it will be rescheduled for a later date.

The course will take place on the central lake at Ariel-Foundation Park on calm, flat water protected from the wild, waves and outside boat traffic, with o apparently current and within swimming distance of the shore. All participants will wear personal flotation devices for the duration of the course. Each class is limited to 5 students.

Those interested may register and make payment online at arielfoundationpark.org. The course is listed under “Community Events.” If you have questions, please call 740-398-6603.