NEWS RELEASE - JUNE 14, 2018
The Scott County Conservation Board (SCCB) and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in coordination with FYRA Engineering, will host a public meeting on Thursday, June 28th at 5 p.m. at the Blue Grass Public Safety Building (606 Mayne Street in Bluegrass, IA) to discuss plans for improving water quality and recreational opportunities at West Lake Park in Scott County. 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 plans.
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 began 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.
Planned improvements include the rehabilitation of several ponds within the park, as well as the addition of several 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, shoreline stabilization, fish habitat improvements, and updating the lakes’ outlet infrastructure. Work in the watershed is slated to begin this fall and the entire project will likely be completed over the next 2-4 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 annually, 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.
Media Contact – George Antoniou, Lake Restoration Program Coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-725-8449
Media Contact – Marc Miller, Scott County Conservation Board Deputy Director, 563-328-3280