City needs to find better solutions for Lake Alice problems [UPDATED]Published 9:38am Friday, February 15, 2013 Updated 11:42am Friday, February 15, 2013
l was very upset last week when I read in The Fergus Falls Journal about the problems that our beautiful Lake Alice has had to deal with and no practical solutions offered.
l will start by relating some history Alice has been referred to as “the beautiful lake on the hill,” an asset that should be appreciated as it was in earlier years.
Many grand old homes were built around the lake (and you know it didn’t look like it does now).
One council member asked if the city has to respond or do anything. l say yes, because former city administrations have contributed to the problem by routing storm sewers into the lake, and by allowing people to build nests for the geese along the river. The geese lay their eggs there, and they think this city, including Lake Alice is their home.
Actually, the Canadian geese have migrated for years from north to south and never ever landed in our little lake, Also, the discharging of warm (hot) water into the river has given them a place to stay in the winter.
But surely these problems can be fixed. Hunters can’t be too thrilled to be able to try to get those semi-tame birds to fly out for them to shoot at. The geese are smart enough to stay put in Lake Alice (where they discharge hundreds of pounds of excrement a day). Talk about phosphorous Yuck.
I am not anti-hunter. My Dad and brothers used to crawl on their stomachs to get close to a flock of geese who had landed in a sloughs near the farm. The sport was in the hunt.
Lake Alice was considered the jewel of our city park system back when A.T. VanDyke and Bernie Pretts were in charge.
The banks were green with grass and beautiful flower beds. No geese, a few ducks and a pair of swans (and they were transported into a barn for the winter).
We also had a beautiful skating rink with a warming house and music.
In other words, our lake was almost picture card perfect before human beings and geese have almost ruined it.
l say “almost” because I think the City should get the storm sewer stuff re-routed and question whether hot water should be discharged into the river (one reason the geese want to here).
They really don’t belong in an urban setting. Sure with nature’s help Lake Alice could begin to heal itself if the above problems were solved.
We can’t possibly be thinking seriously about dividing the lake with a dike and end up with more wetland. Surely we have enough sloughs around our area and need one in the middle of our city.
People used to drive over to Lake Alice, park their cars, and enjoy a peaceful, beautiful walk around the lake.
l hope others will speak up and help come up with some practical common-sense solutions to our lake on the hill — a great asset.