Heading to the beach

June 30, 2008

Starting this fall, a new beach will be constructed at Collinwood Park

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

The ball is rolling for a new beach at Collinwood Regional Park and Campground, and construction is expected to begin this fall.

The current beach is located on a clay shelf and is prone to erosion and sedimentation causing run-off into Collinwood Lake, according to Marc Mattice, Wright County Park Administrator.

The county will then move the beach to the south side of the existing fishing pier and conduct a shoreline stabilization project on the current beach.

The new beach, that will be under construction this fall, will be triple the size of the current beach with added shoreline and a sand volleyball court.

“It’ll be pretty nice,” Mattice said.

Depending on the budget approved by the county board of commissioners, the goal is to establish a new playground and picnic shelter in conjunction with the beach as well, all within the next three years, according to Mattice.

The county has already approved the funding for the beach project and is reviewing funding criteria for the second phase.

“That’s what we are hoping for anyway,” he said.

Along with the beach move, 10 tent camping sites will have to be moved to where the current playground is on the top of the hill, which is expected to take place next spring, according to Mattice.

Collinwood campground manager for 13 years, Louis Schmidt is excited about the changes the camp will be seeing.

“It will be nice when it’s completed,” Schmidt said.

Each year, sand would have to be added to the current beach due to run-off.

The new beach will be sitting on natural grade sand and level land which will alleviate the problem, Schmidt said.

The park improvements can only add to the current campground business, which is “busy, busy, busy,” Schmidt said.

Every weekend at the campground is booked until the second weekend in August, according to Schmidt. Camping during the week, however, is usually available, he said.

“It’s gotten to be a pretty popular park,” he commented.

The purpose of the park improvement project is not only to make the park more usable for the public, but also better for the lake, Mattice said.

The Collinwood Lake Community Association continues to monitor the water every month throughout the summer, as well as the lake levels, according to Collinwood Lake Community Association President Jeff Peller.

The association treated the lake July 21 for algae, making for clearer water.

“The water is progressively getting better day by day and we should have nice, clean water for the next month for sure,” Peller said.

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