But I love whitewater parks! Not so much for me, but what they represent. They represent access. They are an easy way to get out on a river and have fun. They are often in urban environments and make a great way for people to see our sport. They are a great way to get introduced to the sport and offer some key aspects that help learning.
Kelly's Whitewater Park in Cascade. It was a great park with several features that made it the perfect spot to learn surfing and playing. There was a side channel with two beginner waves - perfect for first time surf lessons. There was a middle channel that had a more retentive wave that opened things up for playboaters - it also was great to learn sidesurfing. There was a bigger hole/wave that looked intimidating but was a great place to learn how to deal with bigger features and how to escape a hole. There was also an advanced wave for the skilled playboaters who wanted to push things.
Here in California we don't have any play parks. Our laws and regulations make it extremely difficult to get anything built, though we do have a couple projects that are in process. It's a shame because we have places that could really use them (L.A. and the S.F. Bay Area both have multiple areas where they would work). While I doubt I would ever be a regular user, I'd be happy to see more whitewater parks built for the joy and benefit they offer to others. If you love the sport of paddling then I think you should want them, too.