As Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Director Lacey Dingman walked the new sidewalks near the beach at Lakeside Park, she noted the obvious: The department is still cleaning the park now that the holidays and Phase 1A construction are complete.
The fact was driven home by the green-colored, debris-filled water pools at the base of the new beach.
The city closed Lakeside Park, 305 Buena Vista Drive, in January 2019 for renovations. In November, Walkway of Lights gave the public their first glimpse of the renovated park, but in a limited scope.
Since the Christmas lights came down in early January, something that caught many people’s attention were the four wading pools, or basins, between the new beach and Lake Marble Falls. Several of them hold dirt and debris and appear somewhat green in color.
Dingman said the city is aware of it.
The parks staff is addressing the cleanup as quickly as it can, she added. She pointed to one basin that had been cleaned and noted the others will be. These tiny pools will need daily cleaning just like the city pool located above the beach.
“At this point, we’re trying to get it cleaned up for usage in the next several months,” she said. “We cleaned one of them pretty well, and it looks pretty good.”
The basins, ideal for children and those with physical limitations, are on the same level as Lake Marble Falls. The design includes slits, or weep holes, on the walls to allow the pools to be filled with lake water. However, the weep holes are wide enough to let twigs, leaves, and other debris into the basins.
“Our challenge is going to be keeping debris out of the bottom manually,” Dingman said.
Dingman and the parks staff have been contacting other municipalities and government entities to ask how they’re keeping similar features clean. What they’re finding, however, is that there are few basins like the ones at Lake Marble Falls.
Therefore, Dingman is asking engineers for their cleanup recommendations.
The new beach also features a sidewalk and stairs leading into Lake Marble Falls. Dingman said the city is applying to the Lower Colorado River Authority for the creation of a roped-off area for swimmers.
While most of the work is complete at Lakeside Park, it is not fully open as the city awaits a final state inspection. Officials are asking people to limit activities at the park to walking or running on the sidewalk. For other activities, such as picnics, barbecues, and small parties, the city recommends Johnson Park, 230 Avenue J, and Westside Park, located at the intersection of Second Street and Avenue Q.