Dalton Lake Nature Preserve to see improvements
Improvements will be coming to the Dalton Lake area thanks to the work of a special advisory committee, volunteers and various donations.
Over the last year and a half, a group of residents with an interest in the Dalton Lake area formed an advisory committee to help develop an improvement plan that includes installing informative signage, area history, bird and bat houses, and more.
Just last month, Lynne Pettit, chair of the advisory committee, presented a plan chockfull of ideas to improve the nature preserve. Pettit presented the proposal to the St. Helens Parks and Trails Commission and the St. Helens City Council earlier this month for approval to move forward.
"This is a big step," Pettit said. "I am so excited, and so is the whole committee."
The first phase of improvements will include installing kiosks, trail signs, plant identifiers, a bike rack and a station with doggie bags.
Other plans for the area, which is now being referred to as the Dalton Lake Nature Preserve, include adding ADA trail enhancements, view-
ing platforms, bird blinds, and creating bat and swallow houses.
This week, Pettit noted that she has already secured donations to build the informational kiosk and is looking at local grant options to help pay for a small bike rack. For continuity, the kiosk will ideally be designed similarly to the kiosk located at Nob Hill Nature Park, Pettit explained.
The Dalton Lake area is bordered to the east and west by the Columbia River and Rutherford Parkway, respectively, and bordered north and south by the cities of Columbia City and St. Helens.
The Dalton Lake area in owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation but is overseen by the city's parks and trails commission and the city of St. Helens through a cooperative management agreement, which has been in place since 2009.
The 56-acre area boasts a wide range of plant and animal species, which attract people with a variety of interests
in nature. Nearly 130 bird species have been documented there.
As the group becomes active in pursuing the nature preserve improvements, Pettit said information will be promoted on the Friends of Dalton Lake Nature Preserve Facebook page.
"It's evolving and I'm really excited about," Pettit said.
Additionally, volunteers are planning a variety of public events at the preserve, including a series of guided nature walks, one of which will be held Saturday, Nov. 9, starting at 9 a.m.
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