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OXFORD, Iowa – A celebration of the lake restoration efforts at F.W. Kent Park in Johnson County will be held Sept. 21st, from 1-4:30 pm at the boat ramp at Kent Park Lake, located at 2408 US-6 in Oxford.
A grand opening ceremony will be held at 1 pm to officially celebrate the park’s completion of lake restoration activities. The celebration will highlight many of the lake and watershed restoration efforts that have helped improve water quality at Kent Park Lake.
The event is free to the public and will feature a variety of environmental and recreational family-friendly activities including: a water monitoring demonstration and biocell interpretive event, hayrack tours of the park, free use of kayaks and canoes, fisheries demonstrations, guided eco-tours of the lake trail, an interactive stream table, and educational booths.
Project partners began developing a lake restoration plan in 2016 to improve water quality at Kent Park Lake. Before the restoration, the lake suffered from frequent algae blooms, excess phosphorus and sediment pollution, and high bacteria levels at the beach. Partners developed a watershed management plan and work started in 2016 to improve water quality in the watershed, including renovating the six existing sediment ponds within the park and building six new ponds to capture nutrient and sediment pollution.
The Johnson County Conservation Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources began in-lake restoration work in 2017 by drawing down the lake, removing over 100,000 cubic yards of excess sediment from the lake, protecting shorelines from erosion, rebuilding boat ramp and parking lot and adding a biocell to the parking lot to reduce stormwater runoff, adding a limestone for easy shoreline access, and a new accessible fishing pier and restrooms.
The total investment for watershed and in-lake restoration efforts is $3.9 million.