Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1219294

Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 21, 2014

Campers love new look

By David Hotle | Jul 30, 2014
Campers Bailey Cole, left, daughter of Tonya Cole and Joseph Hunt; Lauryn Miller, front, daughter of Heidi Lane and Michael Miller; and Kelby Chalupa enjoy a campsite at the newly renovated Lake Darling State Park Wednesday morning.

BRIGHTON — Even with the sun hanging in the blue sky Wednesday morning, a chill still came from Lake Darling prompting Kelby Chalupa to relight the campfire that was still smoldering from the night before.
With the opening of Lake Darling State Park, Chalupa and several of his friends had decided to celebrate his 20th birthday by making the trek to the campground to spend a night next to the lake. He said that the night had been peaceful and the campground had been quiet. He said that it had been about five years since he had slept next to the lake.
“It looks a lot nicer than what it did,” he said. “The water has a lot of algae, but the campground looks very nice.”
He said that he had seen people fishing earlier in the day. The fish in Lake Darling was only stocked a couple of months ago and are about an inch long.
Lauryn Miller, daughter of Heidi Lane and Michael Miller, remembers yearly camping trips in a cabin at Lake Darling with her family many years ago. She said that it had been a treat to go swimming in the lake with her sisters. She said that she had been camping at the campground since she was born. This morning, when she got out of her tent, she marveled at the new campground. She said that it had been sad when the campground was closed and she is happy that it has been reopened.
“I hope I can come back out here with my family before summer is over,” she said, thinking of how she will pass the love of camping on to her new baby brother.
Miller commented on there being “green floaties” in the water, remnants from when the lake bed was overgrown with plant life after it was drained six years ago to have the silt removed. It only recently has been refilled.
Bailey Cole, daughter of Tonya Cole and Joseph Hunt said that she had recently served as a counselor at Camp REESE. She said that the water gave the kids more to do. She said that the water is nice.
“I never saw it beforehand, but I was really excited they have all the boat and canoe rentals,” she said. “It is right up the street from where I live, so that is awesome.”
Brighton resident Brenda Lemansky came to Lake darling Wednesday to hike the trails with her grandson Liam Donelson. She said that she had long been a fan of Lake Darling and is very happy with the park. She said that she and her husband were going to rent pedal boats over the weekend to take out the grandchildren.
“When I was young, it was a treat to get to come out here with my family,” she said. “They did a great job.”

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