On Tuesday, Sept. 12, an important meeting is being held at Hickory Grove Park in the Oriole Ridge Lodge, 67466 250th St., Colo.
Park users, county residents, outdoor enthusiasts and anyone with an interest in water quality, watershed management or improved angling and other outdoor recreation opportunities will likely want to attend.
It’s dubbed the Hickory Grove Lake Restoration public meeting. And the meeting is a great opportunity for anyone to learn about this first-of-its-kind in Story County watershed project.
“The Hickory Grove Watershed Project involves many partners and has been in the works for many years,” said Erica Place, outreach coordinator for Story County Conservation. “(The project) incorporates best management practices throughout the watershed, as well as in-lake restoration work.” The project will include lake drawdown, dredging, fish stocking and more.
“This project is essential to the long-term maintenance and upkeep of this highly used park,” said Story County Conservation Parks Superintendent Ryan Wiemold. “According to the Iowa Lakes Valuation Project, Hickory Grove sees 71,123 annual visitors and has an annual economic impact of $6.46 million.”
The meeting on Sept. 12 will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be done in a presentation-style format.
“Attendees will hear from Story County Conservation on lake history, watershed project origination and the partnerships that have made this possible,” Place said. “Then the DNR’s (Department of Natural Resources) Lakes Restoration Team will speak on the scope of the project and phasing, followed by DNR Fisheries, who will touch on fishery management history, opportunities for improving access and the restocking plan.”
The meeting will end with those present having the chance to break out into groups and approach specific speakers with their own questions, Place added.
Attending this meeting “is a great opportunity to learn about the lake restoration plan and its goals, project phases and timing and expected outcomes,” Wiemold said. In addition to himself, other county and DNR staff who will take part in the meeting include: Mike Cox, Story County Conservation director; Luke Feilmeier, Story County Conservation Park Ranger; George Antoniou, DNR Lake Restoration Program coordinator; Michelle Balmer, DNR Lake Restoration Program; and Ben Dodd, DNR Fisheries Management biologist.