(HARLAN) Prairie Rose State Park will be hosting a 50-year celebration this weekend.
Brian Hayes, with the DNR office in Lewis, says construction on Prairie Rose State Park started in 1958 and finished in 1960. The park was then opened to the public in 1962. Hayes said the 50-year celebration begins at 2:30 p.m. Saturday outside the park office and shop area and will include cake, refreshments and a short program.
“Unfortunately they are going to have to celebrate this 50th birthday party with a dry lake,” said Hayes. “As people are well aware, it’s the current lake that is going through the restoration process and Prairie Rose has been dry since last July.”
Hayes said a contractor was in last winter and removed around 70,000 cubic yards of sediment from a wetland above the lake that will act as a sediment trap in the future. A second contractor is about ready to wrap up stabilizing the eroding shore line with rock. That contractor is also building some fish habitat and those projects are expected to be done very soon. Hayes said the final piece of the puzzle is the spillway modification. He said the concrete should be poured in a couple weeks and then by mid-July the project will be completed and that will allow them to close the gate and start trapping water.
“Those dry conditions that we’ve been suffering through so far this year, hopefully we’ll get some relief, not only for our friends in agriculture, but to refill this lake,” said Hayes. “I get asked all the time how long is it going to take to refill that lake and it all depends on run-off events and rainfall.”
Prairie Rose State Park is located 3 miles south of Harlan and 8 miles north of Walnut on M47.