Tahoe partners celebrate construction start at Spooner Lake

Miranda Jacobson

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Donors, stakeholders, and local officials marked the beginning of a new era on Monday at Spooner Lake with a groundbreaking ceremony.

The celebration kicked off construction on a visitor center and amphitheater that will offer education opportunities and will also connect that section of trails to the Tahoe East Shore Trail.

The project is a public-private collaboration between multiple entities in the Northern Nevada area, including the Nevada Division of State Parks, the Nevada Division of State Lands, and many more organizations and private sectors invested in the providing knowledge to the public. (Provided)

“Education is going to be key in expanding the visitation to our recreational areas and making sure people know how to recreate responsibly and learn when they’re here in the amphitheater and the interpretive center,” Director of the Nevada Department of Conservation & Natural Resources Bradley Crowell said.

The Spooner Lake and Backcountry Management Area of Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park offers diverse recreational opportunities for both local residents and visitors.

The new center will feature amenities such as a restroom, an interpretive pavilion with a map and way-finding features, a modern amphitheater, as well as new landscaping and irrigation.

This is the first phase in a larger Spooner Front Country Project that will add, improve, and expand the trails and pathways of the Spooner forest and backcountry. The project is expected to be completed by spring 2022.

“This is a hidden gem in our community,” External Affairs Chief and Deputy Director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Julie Regan said. “Not only is this a recreational amenity in our community, but it’s also where watersheds touch forest health and wildlife habitat on and on.

“It’s also a job creator, and I’m so just proud of the partnership that we built over what is approaching over 25 years in the Environmental Improvement Program,” she added. “We like to call it epic collaboration, because it is the heart and soul of what we do best. And that is to work together to protect the lake and to preserve our communities quality of life while boosting the economy.”

The project and groundbreaking ceremony was made possible by a number of entities, including the Nevada Tahoe Resource Team, the State of Nevada, the State of California, the federal government, local jurisdictions in the basin, private sectors and donors, the Nevada Division of State Parks, the Nevada Division of State Lands, the Washoe Tribe, and the Tahoe Fund.

“A really big thanks to all who brought this together over what has been a couple of decades, and we really just have such unlimited possibilities,” Regan said. “We know that recreation is here to stay at Lake Tahoe, folks have discovered the outdoors in recent years that have never really experienced this beauty, and they will keep coming, so we must continue to do projects like these that benefit our lake and our communities.”

The groundbreaking ceremony was held for local officials, private donors, and stakeholders in the project. (Miranda Jacobson / Tahoe Daily Tribune)

CEO of the Tahoe Fund Amy Berry said that philanthropy is one of the biggest ways to help improve the environment and lake for everyone, and it’s power is one of the biggest tools the foundation uses to help contribute to the health and prosperity of the lake.

“Through a very special group of generous donors, we raised a little over $300,000 of private contributions for this project,” Berry said.

For more information about the Spooner Lake Park Improvement Project, visit the website.

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