Illinois Paddling Council Suggests Naming Park After Late Instructor
"Rivermom" Marge Cline is one of two honorary name suggestions for the whitewater park near the Palmer dam.
As the whitewater park nears its completion next to the Glen D. Palmer Dam, the process to name the park also moves forward.
Members of the Illinois Paddling Council recently brought their proposal before the Yorkville City Council to name the park after the late Marge Cline, a revered paddling instructor.
"She was well-known as a great instructor," said Thomas Lindblade, president of the Illinois Paddling Council. "She was the best known instructor in the Midwest."
Known to many as "Rivermom," Cline helped bring the American Canoe Association's instructional program to the Midwest.
She was an avid teacher and instructor on the lessons of canoe safety and education. In 2000, she was named one of Paddler Magazine's top 100 paddlers of the century. Shortly after her passing in 2007, she was recognized with the Environmental Hero award by then Lt. Governor Pat Quinn.
"It would be a perfect marriage for this new facility to be named after Marge," said Gary Mechanic, vice president of the Illinois Paddling Council. "She worked all her life to prevent injuries, so we think this will bring a symbolism of safety to the park."
City officials have heard a presentation about Cline but expect at least one more naming suggestion. The second proposal is expected to come from the Sperling Brothers Foundation, said Alderman Gary Golinski (Ward 2).
Mark and Bruce Sperling died in 2006 while attempting to rescue a kayaker who went over the dam.
"Both proposals have merit and deserve consideration," said Golinski, whose ward includes the dam and park.