Workers with the California Conservation Corps and California State Parks are putting the finishing touches on about 3,500 feet of trail improvements and a new bridge over Angora Creek at Washoe Meadows State Park.
Trail improvements will help keep hikers and bicyclists out of puddles on sunken paths. They will also prevent trails from flowing stormwater and sediment into Angora Creek, the Upper Truckee River and Lake Tahoe, and promote the natural flow of water through the roughly 600-acre park, said Cyndie Walck, a fluvial geomorphologist with California State Parks.
“A lot of the trails are just inherited ones. You can see this one just flowed water all the way down it. It looks like a braided stream in miniature, and that’s sediment that goes into streams that go into the lake,” Walck said during a park tour on Monday, pointing to one stretch of trail not yet upgraded.
The improvements are part of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program. Totaling about $70,000, the work and materials are being paid for by a mix of money from California State Parks, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Tahoe Fund and Proposition 84 bond funding.
The partnership to upgrade the trails and build the bridge was a great project for the volunteers with the Lake Tahoe California Conservation Corps, Conservationist Supervisor Mark Hanson said.
“It’s a great project for us in terms of developing teamwork, work ethic, technical skills, with carpentry, measuring, leveling, surveying. Lots of good skills for these young men and women to get exposure to,” Hanson said.
There is limited public access to Washoe Meadows State Park, which is used mostly by neighboring homeowners.
California State Parks wants to do a road and trail plan for the park, complete with a new public access on U.S. 50. But that work is on hold pending resolution of a lawsuit with neighbors and other groups over if or how part of the adjacent Lake Tahoe Golf Course should be relocated away from a stretch of the Upper Truckee River and into an area of the park to allow for river restoration work, Walck said.
“In the meantime we can at least address some of our worst erosion and water quality problems on the trails,” Walck said.