Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 22, 2018

Willow Pond County Park

Renovation creates beautiful space
By John Butters | Jul 24, 2017
The shoreline has been reconstructed with larger riprap to protect the pond from erosion and vandalism. The trail has also been raised.


The Washington County Conservation Board reviewed improvements to Willow Pond and approved an Eagle Scout project to build bat houses for Marr Park at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, July 13.

Scout Trevor Nida plans to mount four, 2-foot-by-1.5-foot-by-3-inch bat boxes on 16-foot poles at the west end of the park.

Nida said native bats provide a natural form of insect control that benefits humans by consuming mosquitoes and other flying insects.

Board members noted that there were already several species of bats living within the park and that the boxes would provide additional habitat for them.

Nida said the project would likely be completed sometime next spring.

In other business the board approved a resolution that accepts responsibility for maintaining a planned addition to the Kewash trail that will link Willow Pond and the Kirkwood College campus.

The board and the city of Washington cooperated on obtaining funding from a federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant to add the trail connection.

This past fall, the project was awarded a $372,000 Transportation grant, in addition to a $100,00 state-funded Resource Enhancement And Protection (REAP) grant. The project is expected to begin this fall, but completion is not expected for several years.

In anticipation of the project, the board began a complete renovation of Willow Pond that culminated this spring with the construction of a shelter house.

Improvements to the pond include a firmer shoreline, a raised trail around the pond, the addition of new jetties and landscaping.

Another project completed this July was the construction of a new Kewash trail crossing at its intersection with Kiwi Avenue.

The $38,000 project included new drainage, a concrete approach and a concrete road bed to reduce erosion. The crossing is now Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.

The board discussed a resolution for relinquishing its interest in an easement that included a site for a former Kewash trailhead in Keota. Civic group Keota Unlimited is building a new, larger trailhead at a different site and will not need the land leading to the abandoned trailhead.

Discussion continued on plans to rebuild wildlife exhibits in the Conservation Education Center. The board will contract with a firm for professional assistance with the project.


Comments (1)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Aug 10, 2017 02:45
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