Waconia High School

Reprinted with permission from the Waconia Patriot

By Al Lohman

The profiles of Lake Waconia Regional Park and Coney Island of the West have changed considerably in recent weeks. Here’s a construction update on the Carver County park projects.

At the regional park on the south shore of Lake Waconia, construction crews have stripped away topsoil and removed trees and park facilities to make way for utility lines and create more formal parking lots and roadways in line with the long-term master park plan.

The work going on now actually encompasses three projects, Carver County Parks representatives note: the installation of city sewer and water lines; parking, road and landscaping improvements, along with construction of a public watercraft access; also, a Metropolitan Council sewer line capacity improvement project near the park.

With favorable weather, most landscaping and seeding should be complete this fall, according to parks officials. In the meantime, the park remains closed indeifintely to all users. Use of the park property is actively patrolled and subject to substantial fines, according to park officials.

Out on Coney Island, trails and picnic/day use areas are taking shape for that park under development. Aggregate has been placed on about half of the east-west trail that has been forged across the island and concrete pads are being placed at each end of the island for picnic tables.

Carver County commissioners also have authorized additional funding for contract crews to construct a retaining wall to help level the trail slope on the west end of the island. That work has just begun.

Meanwhile, a contract crew continues to remove hazardous material, including asbestos, from old building sites, so the island also remains off limits to the public.

However, about 40 student and adult volunteers from the Waconia High School Conservation Club were out on the island with county parks workers Saturday clearing away branches, lumber, bricks and other non-hazardous materials from along the trail and near historic building sites that will be retained as features of the new park.

The County parks office has interest and need for more organized groups to coordinate additional volunteer clean-up efforts to supplement contract work. Interested groups may contact Carver County Parks at 952-466-5250 for more information.