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Some Upgrades for Loch Lomond (But Nothing Crazy)

May 31, 2013—Loch Lomond lovers can look forward to a modest expansion of facilities and programs at the mountain reservoir, including kayak and canoe rental, a summer day camp program, a “water play area” (which does not seem, exactly, to mean “swimming pool”) and maybe-possibly-no-promises-here some mountain biking and hiking on the west side of the reservoir.

Just like Goldilocks would have done, the Santa Cruz City Council on May 28 adopted the middle of three approaches to rehabilitating the lonely reservoir, which only gets about half the visitors it used to. The options, laid out in a 230-page study (link downloads as PDF), run the gamut. While Option 1 called for things like zip lines and backpacking camps and the reintroduction of private boating at the lake, Option 3 called for no action at all (or expenditures, for that matter)—just a reduction in hours.

But Option 2 the council (and the Water Commission, which advised council on this one) found to be Just Right. This approach, which we like to think of as Picking and Choosing, calls for the following: kayak and canoe rental, a summer day camp program, expanded educational and recreation programs, a reservation system that goes hand-in-hand with group picnic facilities and an outdoor wedding site, an outdoor classroom, a kids’ play area, expanded trails on the east side (where the trails already exist), boat storage right next to the lake (instead of ¼ mile up a steep road), an educational kiosk and ADA improvements.

Additionally, council said it wants to consider a water play area (don’t get your hopes up—the rendering in the study looks more like a fountain for kids to run through than a killer swimming pool) and a feasibility study of mountain biking and hiking on the west side of the reservoir.

The down side to Option 2? It calls for a reexamination of the entrance fees, which the study says are too low.

Mostly good stuff. And while we shed a silent tear for the zip line idea, we’re excited about the kayak rental, the prospect of mountain biking and generally seeing more people at this hidden gem of a redwood lake.

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