Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1691810

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 20, 2017

Lake Darling plans progress through the year

Sep 28, 2017
The Lake Darling Four-Seasons cabins, which opened last year, are one of many projects that were able to be completed due to a contribution from Jerrry Robinson. Other projects include a bridge spanning a 150-foot split in the silt basin, the Four Seasons Lodge and, most recently, the purchase of 93 acres of land adjacent to the park. Robinson is being awarded a lifetime membership to Friends of Lake Darling.

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

 

BRIGHTON — A pedestrian bridge that will span a 150-foot gap in the east end of the Lake Darling silt dam is being constructed in a factory and will be brought to the lake to be installed later this year.

On Wednesday, Fay Vittetoe, a member of the Friends of Lake Darling, showed a lifetime membership to the Friends of Lake Darling made out for Jerry B. Robinson. Over the last year, Robinson has donated close to $750,000 to making two projects at Lake Darling State Park a reality. In addition to funding the bridge, Robinson also donated funding to purchase 93 acres of land adjacent to the east side of the park. In the past, Robinson has also donated to help construct the four-seasons lodge and cabins in Lake Darling State Park. Vittetoe commented the life membership certificate is extra special because it was signed by Friends President Jim Dickinson shortly before he passed away suddenly earlier this month.

“Thanks to our generous benefactor, we will manage this property to enhance the environment and protect the water shed of Lake darling,” Dickinson wrote in a summary he had planned to give at the September Friends meeting. “This acquisition will open many opportunities for the Friends of Lake darling. We will be examining how we can develop recreational programs, examine the park’s trail system, provide wildlife environments and ensure commercial activities will not infringe on the quiet beauty of the park.”

Vittetoe also said the loss of Dickinson would impact the group. During a meeting Wednesday, the Friends planned to determine who would be an acting president for the remainder of the year. Stacie Lowe is serving as vice president.

Vittetoe said Dickinson had been a long-term member of Friends and had run Campers Corner.

Dickinson had also created a summary of Friends events that had been accomplished so far this year. Vittetoe said the group has been very active this year.

While the group has not worked much with public fundraising, it has been working with several donors to accomplish projects.

Recently the Friends group has agreed to take the responsibility of boat rental in the park.

Events at Lake Darling began Jan. 1 with the First Day Hike. The hike saw about 15 percent more people who had come out to the event.

“I can only say ‘unbelievable’ when I made numerous trips to the boat ramps and saw the number of boats fishing and I toured the parking lots noticing where the vehicles were from,” Dickinson wrote in the summary. “Counties from 100 miles away were not uncommon. Many fishermen I talked to planned on spending a few days now and planned another visit either later in the year or next year.”

Vittetoe also said the ordering of information panels to honor donors, which would be placed along the paved ADA trail, is morning ahead.

The Friends also plan to add informational panels to teach hikers more about local habitat.

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