MOORHEAD (AP) -- Pontoon boat rides this summer from Moorhead's new dock on the Red River are part of plans to revitalize the riverfront.
River Keepers, a nonprofit organization, is collecting money to buy a boat for 45-minute tours on the rarely traveled river.
''It will draw more attention to the fact that the river has a lot of potential,'' executive director Bob Backman said.
Local organizations are planning a Taste of the Valley food and entertainment festival Aug. 11 and 12 near the river in Moorhead and Fargo, N.D. Moorhead is spending $1 million to improve four downtown parks along the river.
Wider paved trails will connect the parks to Moorhead's new boat dock under a bridge near the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center.
''Imagine hikers, strollers, joggers and Rollerbladers using the new 10-foot-wide trails and being able to come up to the boat launch and take a ride,'' Moorhead parks superintendent Riaz Aziz said.
The dock is expected to be finished within a month, Aziz said.
That would be the home base for the River Keepers pontoon, which would carry 15 to 20 people.
River Keepers hopes to run tours on the hour from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday in the summer, but plans have not been finalized yet, Backman said.
The boat's operator would talk about the river's history during the seven-mile ride from the Midtown to North dams, he said.
River Keepers also is considering theme tours on fishing, birdwatching and other subjects, Backman said.
He expects a ride to cost $4 a person, with ticket sales covering the cost of running the tours.
In addition to general ticket sales, businesses are interested in buying rides for clients and employees, and Hjemkomst Center staff thinks its tour groups will be interested, he said.
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