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DNR and Black Hawk County Conservation to host open house to discuss lake restoration plans for Casey Lake, located in Hickory Hills Park

  • 6/27/2023 4:44:00 PM
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La Porte City – Black Hawk County Conservation (BHCC), Shive-Hattery, Inc., and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host a public meeting at 6 p.m., July 10, at the Lakeview lodge at Hickory Hills Park located at 3338 Hickory Hills Road, near La Porte City, to discuss ongoing lake restoration efforts at the park, slated for the fall of 2023 through early spring of 2025. 

The meeting will discuss project goals, construction plans and what park users can expect over the next two years. Restoration will include draining the lake to facilitate targeted dredging, shoreline stabilization, in-lake sediment forebays, dam infrastructure upgrades, and fish habitat improvements. Additionally, several of the ponds within the park are being renovated and additional ponds are being added to capture sediment and nutrient pollution before it enters the lake.

Casey Lake, located within the park, has a long history of poor water quality, including poor water clarity, a lack of fish habitat, and frequent algae blooms. The lake was first added to the state’s list of impaired waters in 2006 for pH, attributed to the persistent algae blooms at the lake. Project partners have worked over the past several years to assess these issues and develop a comprehensive lake restoration plan to improve conditions.

Hickory Hills Park is a popular recreation destination, drawing more than 25,000 visitors annually. The campground and cabins are consistently busy, and the park is a popular place for boating, camping, relaxing, trail use, and fishing. BHCC hosts several popular events each year, including the Hickory Hills Holiday Lights Show, Halloween Campouts, Kids fishing tournaments and environmental education programming.

Funding for restoration efforts include funds from the Lake Restoration Program, a state funded program administered by the DNR, Black Hawk County Conservation, a Black Hawk County Gaming Association & Isle of Capri Casino Grant, a Fish Habitat Grant, and a donation from the Young Family Foundation.