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Public Meeting to discuss West Lake Park improvement plan

BLUEGRASS –The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Scott County Conservation Board (SCCB), in coordination with FYRA Engineering, will host a public meeting at 5 p.m., June 28, at the Blue Grass Public Safety Building (606 Mayne Street)  to discuss plans for improving water quality and recreational opportunities at West Lake Park.

Restoration activities planned for the park will be presented at the meeting, along with an opportunity for the public to express their comments and ask questions about the long term management and improvement plan.

Water quality at the lakes has deteriorated in recent years due to sedimentation, an overabundance of undesirable fish species, and high concentrations of nutrients and bacteria. The SCCB started working with the DNR in 2016 to develop a comprehensive restoration plan for the park and watershed that would improve water quality and opportunities for recreation at Lake of the Hills, Bluegrass Lake, Railroad Lake and Lambach Lake.

Construction planned for the park includes restoring several ponds within the park, as well as adding new ponds to trap nutrients and sediment from the watershed and prevent them from entering the lakes.

Planned in-lake restoration work includes removing excess sediment from the lakes in the West Lake Park Complex, stabilizing the shoreline, fish habitat improvements, and updating the lakes’ outlet infrastructure. Work in the watershed is scheduled to start this fall and will likely be completed in the next two to four years.

Lake of the Hills, located within the park, is currently listed on the State’s list of Impaired Waters due to high levels of algae. The overall goal of this restoration project is to improve water quality and recreational opportunities at the park and remove the lake from the Impaired Waters List.

West Lake Park is a very popular local recreational destination, hosting thousands of campers each year, and receiving over a ½ million visitors annually. The park is also home to local and national disc golf championships and the Quad Cities Triathlon. Park improvements are expected to increase visitation at the lake and provide better recreational opportunities to visitors.

Any person attending the public meeting and has special requirements such as those related to mobility or hearing impairments should contact the DNR or ADA Coordinator at 515-725-8200, Relay Iowa TTY Service 800-735-7942, or Webmaster@dnr.iowa.gov, and advise of specific needs.

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