Navajo Lake projects underway

Construction projects planned for Navajo State Park will provide improvements to the popular area for campers, boaters and wildlife enthusiasts.

The projects are either now in process or will be completed next year, said Doug Secrist, park manager.

The most noticeable project will be the rebuilt boat dock, which was rebuilt so that it can be placed in the water in sections according to the water level in the reservoir. That will allow at least part of the dock to be installed, and to accommodate addition or removal of sections if necessary. Reinstallation of the dock will occur early next spring.

Next year, boaters can look forward to smoother launching as the boat ramp is scheduled to be resurfaced before next summer. Secrist explained that because of the low water level this is a good time to put down new concrete on the ramp.

To better protect the lake from becoming infected with invasive aquatic species, a decontamination station will be built and ready for boaters next summer. The station will allow boats to be decontaminated thoroughly on site.

At the request of boaters, the dry storage facility is being expanded so there will be more room to store water craft by the beginning of next boating season.

In the spring, work will continue on a hiking trail that will offer park visitors a long walking path. When finished, the trail will extend for about 6 miles from the Rosa campground to Arboles Point near the inlet of the Piedra River.

A new wetlands project will increase abundant wildlife viewing opportunities. The water delivery system to the Sambrito wetlands will be improved and expanded to bring a consistent flow of water to the area. The nearly 500-acre parcel west of the park attracts ducks, geese, raptors shore birds, deer, elk, and other mammals. Waterfowl and big game hunting also is allowed at the site.

Volunteers who are interested in helping with work at the wetlands should contact the park. Help is needed for ditch maintenance, water delivery and for planting trees and shrubs.

“The wetlands are unique and attract a lot of wildlife. This will be a significant improvement for Sambrito,” Secrist said.