DEVILS LAKE: Leaders consider public beach
Some Devils Lake civic leaders are floating an idea of developing a new public beach on the lake. The present Lakewood Beach, a local recreational attraction for decades, has changed greatly during the past decade because of the rising lake. "The...
Some Devils Lake civic leaders are floating an idea of developing a new public beach on the lake.
The present Lakewood Beach, a local recreational attraction for decades, has changed greatly during the past decade because of the rising lake.
"The changing slope has been very hard to keep up with," said Greg Otis, Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce director. "We repair it year after year. It's kind of a constant battle because of Mother Nature."
The chamber hosted a meeting this week with some local and state officials to explore the possibility of a new public beach, either at Lakewood or somewhere else on the lake.
"It was strictly a preliminary meeting," he said. "We're looking for options."
The elevation of Devils Lake has risen more than 25 feet since 1993, swallowing shoreline, trees and buildings.
Lakeswood Beach also was home to the former UND Biological Station, a historic stone-and-brick building built in 1909.
From 1910 to the early 1920s, it served as a laboratory for a series of landmark studies on water chemistry, temperature, weather, algae, invertebrates and other subjects.
The building also was used for short periods of times in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also used a portion of the building for a few years.
The building was moved in 1995 after it was threatened by the rising lake waters.
Today, the public beach is about 300 feet from where it was a decade ago.
The beach is about 200 feet long, divided into two sections - a boat dock with a fish-cleaning area, plus the public beach.
The Devils Lake Parks and Recreation Department maintains the public beach.
"It gets fairly strong use, for both boaters and recreational swimmers," Otis said. "But, it's getting hard to navigate around it."
A boat ramp and dock are also located close by. A bike path connects Lakewood Park to the city of Devils Lake. Lakewood Park also features playground and restroom facilities, as well as picnic tables, shelters and grills.
While the project is in the early stages, Otis said he would like to see something completed by 2009 or 2010.