Time has taken a toll on the handicap fishing peninsula on Delta's Confluence Lake. The fishing dock on the east side of the lake is also showing signs of wear. Both issues will be addressed this fall, as city park crews rework the peninsula.
Since the lake opened in 1991, erosion and wave action have slowly undercut the earthen banks below the concrete pier, creating an unsafe situation.
"It would be difficult to repair so we looked at redesigning the peninsula," said parks manager Tony Bohling. "It seemed a good opportunity to make the peninsula more user friendly and restore handicap access."
Bohling points to the five-foot drop from the concrete ledges to the lake. "It's too high above water level for fishing," he said. The new peninsula will be closer to the water, with three access points for handicap fishing. The current dock will be removed and incorporated into the peninsula. A concrete block retaining wall will extend below the water line to prevent future erosion.
The peninsula will not extend as far into the lake, but the new configuration will maintain roughly the same amount of square footage.
The design was engineered by Austin Civil Group. Grand Designs is the landscape architect. Labor will be done by parks staff, including Bohling.
He said the level of the lake will be dropped four feet, to accommodate the new concrete armoring that will provide erosion control. The lake is already down a foot, and will stay that way until early fall. Bohling explained the lake has to remain high enough to irrigate park turf through the summer and early fall. "We'll draw it the rest of the way down in October, weather permitting," he said.
Construction is expected to take about 60 days.
Bohling hopes to incorporate some of the existing trees into the landscaping, which will be phased in beginning next spring. The completed project will incorporate sidewalks, seating, turf, trees and flower beds.
The project is being funded through conservation trust/lottery funds. Bohling has whittled down the engineer's estimate of $130,000 for materials to $60,000 by trimming out some features, reusing portions of the dock and claiming boulders from Devil's Thumb. The perennials have been transplanted into flowerbeds around the city.
Bohling said the project is just part of a larger effort to redirect resources to Confluence Park. "This is our showcase park," he said, "and we want it to stay that way."
Paonia Elementary School second grade teacher Jodi Simpson is passionate about pedagogy. She understands that the important things kids learn in school isn't accomplished through testing, but by experiencing life and all its wonders.