Haverhill Chamber Builds City Brand Around the Merrimack; Plans Kayaking and Networking Thursday

A four-day kayak trip along the Merrimack River during August 2019, raised awareness of local and regional environmental issues. (Josiah Morrow photograph for WHAV News.)

The Greater Haverhill Chamber has made the Merrimack River a focal point in marketing the city. It’s driving home the point tomorrow with its “Network on The Merrimack,” featuring kayaking on the river and an indoor mixer.

Haverhill Chamber President and CEO Dougan Sherwood built the chamber’s new logo around the river, is working to ensure the waterway is navigable and wants to bring more business to the riverfront. He outlined his passion in a recent interview with WHAV.

“Geographically speaking, the river is just about the most important thing in Haverhill. The more we can do to celebrate it, activate it, understand it, the better off our community will be, the more appealing Haverhill will be to visitors and potential employees and employers,” he said.

Sherwood said kayaking is a relatively easy way for people to take advantage of the Merrimack.

“The kayak is something that is affordable, low cost and really easy to use. You don’t need to be an athlete or in great shape. Just get out there, float around and enjoy it.”

During this pandemic, Sherwood adds, floating on the river is naturally socially distant.

“This is just a very simple way of being outside, together. These boats are perfect for social distancing. You’re naturally going to find yourself six, seven, eight feet away from each other, but you’re on the river so you can still talk. You can still group up,” he explained.

“Network on The Merrimack” begins at 4:30 p.m., at the Plum Island Kayak hut at Riverfront Park off Washington Street. Networking follows at 6:30 at The Peddler’s Daughter, 45 Wingate St, Haverhill. Tickets are $25 for members and $35 for non-members or, for just the networking, $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Register at haverhillchamber.com.

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