Holy snow, batman!

What a winter this has been, right? We go from warm to cold, bone-dry to rain, to ice, to being buried in snow, back to rain and now a spring-like thaw. The old addage, "if you don't like the weather in Iowa, just wait a day" is proving true this year.

For a couple weeks there it seemed like all we did was move snow around. A couple days we just threw in the towel and closed things down while we waited for the storm to pass. Times like these make you look at your project list and sigh at how little it seems like you're able to get done. 

Can you relate? 

But we're back at it now. We're (still) putting finishing touches on the Ranger House Cabin and rearranging things at Starr's Cave Nature Center in preparation of moving our main office over there this spring. We hit a bit of a roadblock with the state as far as getting authorization to construct the new office we need, but we'll get through that. Our Director, Chris Lee, recently wrote about the issue in his monthly newspaper column which runs in the local papers.  

Campground, sidewalks & pond construction at Big Hollow to begin this spring

At long last, we received our final authorization from the Land & Water Conservation Fund Grant to proceed with our park improvements at Big Hollow Recreation Area. As soon as the weather allows, we will start construction on 18 new campsites just west of the existing campground. We will also pave the fishing jetty below the campground and pave a walking path from it to the kayak launch dock in that same spot. We will also put paved sidewalks around the perimeter of the beach. This is all in an effort to make the lake more accessible, one of our Master Plan priorities. These projects are all funded by local donations and grants. We received no tax dollars for these capital improvements.

Using funds from fishing license sales, we were awarded a Fish Habitat Grant last year to build ponds in the two drainages west of the campground also. We plan to have these built this year as well. These new ponds will not only offer new fishing opportunities, but will improve water quality in Big Hollow Lake by capturing sediment that would have otherwise gone into the lake. 

Keep an eye here and on our Facebook page for updates. 

Reserve your campsites now

We know that summer camping season feels like it's a long way off yet, but longer, warmer days will be here before you know it. Have you made your campground reservations yet? Most weekends at Big Hollow Recreation Area sell out, and holiday and special event weekends sell out early. Go to MyCountyParks.com to reserve your site and put something on your calendar worth looking forward to.

That's all for now. See you outside!

published Friday, February 2, 2024

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