By Henry Miller, Statesman Journal
Along with several spiffy new aluminum fishing platforms and a trail around the lake perimeter, the 1-plus-mile paths from the parking lot for the pond “have been widened and smoothed out with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) gravel, so it’s more of an easy transition,” said Shawn Woods, the area manager. “I remember it used to be like a fight for survival out here, fighting the bushes and stuff,” Hubbard laughed. That’s also how he remembers it, said George Larson, the vice president and volunteer coordinator for the Mid-Valley Chapter of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, based in Albany. The contractor for the project, Mid-Valley Excavation in Sublimity, put in the major features, and volunteers from the Mid-Valley Steelheaders put in lots of hours on the finishing work. “We’ve done a whole bunch of the new features,” Larson said, including installing the side railings on the fishing platforms and mounting the seats on the benches on the new trail encircling the pond after the supports were set. Club members also put down underwater weed mats and erected a new information kiosk at a site near the new bridge close to the end of the trail. “I think it’s going to open up a whole lot of access,” Larson said.