Volunteers needed for lake shoreline project

Volunteers are needed to help with the next stage of the Marion Reservoir Shoreline Stabilization Project planned for Monday, Nov. 10, weather permitting.

Peggy Blackman, 319 Water Quality Grant coordinator, and the Marion County Conservation District are seeking volunteers to cut large cedar trees, operate a “Punjar” similar to a jack hammer to set the anchors in the shoreline of the lake and attach anchor chains around the trunks of the trees placed along the shoreline.

The shoreline project is about 500 feet long and is located along a peninsula-like area off the southeast edge of Cottonwood Point.

About 100 feet of the shoreline stabilization site was completed in early spring 2003. Three tiers of 5- to 6-foot trees were anchored within that 100 feet.

Weather conditions and activity at the reservoir prevented the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and volunteers from completing the project.

“We would like to finish the remaining shoreline, at this site, before winter begins,” Blackman said. “Where the erosion control practice was in place, significant sediment from bank erosion collected, indicating the success of the practice.”

The remaining 400 feet of the shoreline project site showed a great amount of erosion from ice, wind and wave action, Blackman added.

Additional shoreline stabilization project sites have been determined for future erosion-control measures.

Marion County Commissioners are donating the county’s excavator and an operator for the day. The cities of Marion, Hillsboro and Peabody have committed an employee from each city to work on the project.

The Marion High School FFA Chapter will be attaching the anchor chains to the cedar trees.

Rural Water District No. 5 will be assisting the group of volunteers.

Volunteers from the Marion Reservoir Lake Association will also participate.

Marion County Conservation District and Natural Resource Conservation Staff will have staff volunteering for the project.

Having sufficient volunteers working on the project Nov. 10 will enable it to be completed in one day, Blackman said.

Marion Reservoir Corp of Engineers and Kansas Wildlife and Parks are providing equipment for the project.

Blackman said, “If anyone has waders or thigh-high rubber boots that could be used for the day, we would be responsible to return the boots or waders to their owners.”

All volunteers will be asked to become members of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Earth Team volunteer program. Their membership in the volunteer program will provide workers compensation coverage for them while working on the project.

Neoprene gloves will be provided, but those working setting the anchors along the shoreline should bring waders, Blackman said.

Lunch will be provided at the site for the volunteers

Anyone interested in volunteering, evening for only a few hours, should call the Marion County Conservation District at 620-382-3520 or e-mail Blackman at peggy.blackman@ks.usda.gov.

“Marion Reservoir is a significant asset to our county,” Blackman said. “Please help in improving the water quality within the lake for our public water supply and recreational activities.”

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