Spring Fling on the Kings event kicks off the season

Kings River Conservancy readies for Spring Fling on the Kings, a free event to raise funds and awareness about conservation efforts on the river

Kings River seen near the Kings River Golf & Country Club in Kingsburg. (Kenny Goodman)
Derek Fleming
Published March 13, 2024  • 
1:00 pm

SANGER – The Kings River Conservancy is hosting the Spring Fling on the Kings in April, a free event to raise funds for conservation efforts and provide education to the public.

The Spring Fling on the Kings begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. The event will be held at the Lapp River House, an Arthur Dyson organic architecture design that has been featured in several magazines. The Lapp River House is located at 26210 Elwood Rd in Sanger, above Avocado Lake and a short distance from Pine Flat Dam. 

Parking is available at the Lapp House and is free. Handicap-accessible parking will be available. Visitors are welcome to bring pets on leashes. 

The event will feature a silent auction, vendors, and food available for purchase with proceeds going to support KRC projects. Live music will be provided by the Sycamore Band.

KRC Education Administrator Lynette Ballis told The Sun-Gazette that some of the projects the group funds include trail maintenance, signage and maintenance of bathrooms that were built on two sections of walking trails. The foundation is also working to repair damage from last year’s historic flooding events. 

Kings River seen from the Kings River Trail behind Reedley College. (Kenny Goodman)

“We have two trails below the dam,” Ballis said. “We have North Riverside Park, which we added a bathroom and trails from the bridge downriver with signs so people can walk the trails safely. On the south side of the river, we have the Kings River Conservation Area that has the Raptor Trail with signage about all the different birds.”

Ballis said that the flooding last year washed out trails and destroyed existing signage that had to be replaced. Repairs cost money, and the foundation is hoping to recoup some of those costs through events such as the Spring Fling. The group also hosts an event later in the year to help raise funds for education and maintenance projects on the Kings River.

Several notable groups will be in attendance to offer education to the public on conservation, including the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Clovis Botanical Gardens and Fresno Wildlife Rescue – along with some of their rescue animal ambassadors, Fly Fishers of Fresno and others. Members of KRC will be on hand to teach boating safety and offer demonstrations of using a kayak on the river, as well as a fly fishing technique demonstration.

Last year’s event saw more than 200 items donated for auction that helped to raise money for the foundation. The funds help to allow the foundation to operate a variety of educational programs that include in-class and on-site field trip opportunities. 

Kings River seen from the Kings River Trail behind Reedley College. (Kenny Goodman)

“We are once again so pleased to invite our members, community partners and new friends to enjoy the King’s River at the beautiful Lapp River House,” said Sue Buckley, board president of the Kings River Conservancy in a press release. “The waters are much calmer this year, so come hear some great music, have a tasty lunch and play a bit!  I hope to see you there: Long Live the Kings!”

The event will also feature a photography contest with cash prizes. This will be the fourth year the foundation has done the competition as part of the Spring Fling on the Kings event. 

Attendees are invited to bring chairs, blankets and lunch, or they may purchase a meal at the event. Meal tickets are available at kingsriverconservancy.org and will be available at the event. The cost is $15 before or $20 at the event. 

“It is not about all the profits, we just want people to get out and enjoy the river,” Ballis said. “We are just trying to get people out there on the river so they can see the beauty of the river and have a relaxing afternoon.”

She added that the drive to the location is beautiful and wildflowers will be in bloom, making for a pleasurable experience getting to the event.

Derek Fleming