Loch Lomond Facilities Planning
Loch Lomond Recreation Area is undergoing a public facilities planning process that involves looking at how best to balance visitors’ experiences with the need to protect the watershed’s natural resources.
Purpose and Need
Many of the facilities at the Recreation Area have existed as they are since they were built in the 1960’s and need updating based on changes in visitor use and facilities standards. In addition, long-standing grant requirements are set to expire in 2018, giving the Department greater flexibility in addressing visitor needs. There is also a desire to make the facility more financially self-sustaining after a substantial decline in both the number of visitors and revenues. A primary goal of this effort is to define activities that visitors will use before launching capital improvements to support those activities.
Progress to Date
In 2012, the Department began a Recreation Area Use Study with several goals:
- Balance water resources protection and the provision of recreation services, specifically with emphasis on drinking water quality as the primary function
- Promote uses that are unique and in character with the lake, environment and mission
- Identify opportunities to increase use of underutilized areas
- Ensure adaptive management to allow for evolving needs and activities
- Explore the type and mix of activities and facilities
- Improve balance of revenues and expenditures
- Evaluate operations, including fees, costs, and partnership opportunities
The final Use Study is available online. In May 2013, the City Council accepted the Use Study and adopted a balanced approach, called Option 2 in the study. In addition, they requested a feasibility study of hiking and mountain biking trail use on the west side of the watershed property.
Opportunities to Participate
The Department will conduct a feasibility analysis on west side hiking and mountain biking trails. This study was delayed due to the drought and is now scheduled to begin in fall 2014. That effort will be followed by a Master Plan, which will examine facility needs in detail. Both planning efforts will include opportunities for community members to provide input. To be placed on the project email list, please contact Chris Berry via email.