Carver County received $2.5 million from the most recent State bonding bill to use towards a waterfront pavilion and other support services in the redesigned Lake Waconia Regional Park.
“This funding serves as a major step forward into making Carver County’s Lake Waconia Regional Park a true State of Minnesota recreational gem,” Carver County Commissioner Tim Lynch said. “The board and parks staff have worked to create a solid master plan, and with this funding in place we can start to realize some of these plans.”
The county plans to provide a matching $2.5 million to complete this portion of the project. Lake Waconia is the second-largest lake in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan area, and the 135-acre park sits on the southern end of the lake.
The money allows the county to design, construct and equip a waterfront pavilion with restrooms, concessions and covered picnic area. In addition, the County can build upon previous investments of city sewer and water utilities that service the new building.
“While our initial request for $4.3 million was pared down, this funding allows us to focus on this main building to support our patrons and the activities they enjoy most in the park,” county parks director Marty Walsh said.
Walsh noted the addition of a pavilion, where the county can rent watercraft, allows users to access the newly developed Coney Island of the West. The new building also gives excellent facilities for patrons using the beach, one of the most used recreational spots in the county.
As the funding was approved only last week, Walsh is uncertain of specific construction timelines, but he and his staff know park users are anxious to see this building become a reality.
The park recently reopened with a new parking area, infrastructure in place for future services, as well as an adjacent boat launch built by the State. A 12-foot wide paved trail connects the park with the City of Waconia’s trail system, leading from town along the lakeshore and through the park. A gravel trail connecting the paved trail and parking facilities extends east to Highway 92, where it then connects with a local trail and leads to new developments north of the park. The project created a large level green space area between the parking area and the beach for picnicking and a future playground. Because turfgrass is not fully established, parks staff plans to deploy picnic tables and grills next spring.