One of downtown Missoula’s favorite spots is in desperate need of emergency care.
Brennan’s Wave, the community’s free boating and surfing playground in the Clark Fork River, has a giant crack in its middle chute that needs to be fixed as soon as possible, said Trent Baker, spokesperson for Brennan’s Wave, the nonprofit organization that funded the wave’s construction and oversees an endowment for its maintenance.
The organization has $20,000 to put toward fixing the crack, but the cost of the full repair is estimated at $50,000, Baker said.
Unusually extended and high runoff flows in the Clark Fork River the past few springs likely caused the erosion in the base of the middle chute – and the crack that now spans the width of the structure.
Fundraising efforts are under way to fix the wave by the end of March and before spring runoff, which likely will worsen the situation if repairs are not completed, Baker said.
Everyone involved with the wave and its repair is optimistic the funds will be raised, but time is of the essence, he said Sunday.
Permit applications have been submitted and contractors are lined up to do the work. But now the money must be raised.
Brennan’s Wave was completed in March 2006 with generous community support. The recreation site replaced a dangerous and dilapidated irrigation diversion and has been so successful that it has served as the competition site for the U.S. Kayak Team’s Olympic Trials and the Montana Whitewater Championships.
The wave, Baker said, has become a point of pride for Missoula. Not only has it been featured in national publications, but because of the wave Missoula was listed as one of the Best River Towns in America in 2012 by Outside magazine.
Donations for the repair are tax deductible.
“It’s really important that we get this work done before spring runoff,” Baker said. “We want the wave to be in good shape and we want to enjoy it for years to come.”