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More ‘things for families to do’ at Twin Lakes Park

Additions like play area close to completion

A play area at Twin Lakes Park, near Florence in Lyon County, is under construction and nearing completion. One last piece of the play area is a slide down the side of a small embankment. The proposal got approval from County Board members this week.

MARSHALL — Development of Lyon County’s Twin Lakes Park has been a gradual process over the past few years, but Lyon County Environmental Administrator Roger Schroeder said the county is closing in on completion of features like a play area this summer.

While Twin Lakes has had camping availability and nearby lake access ever since it opened five years ago, having a bigger variety of features is a positive thing for the park, Schroeder said. “We have things for families to do now,” he said.

On Tuesday, Schroeder got approval from the Lyon County Board to purchase a slide feature for the play area.

“It’s one piece of that naturescape area that we have yet to complete,” Schroeder said. The play area at Twin Lakes will be a “naturescape,” meaning it will have features that will work with the natural landscape at the park. Schroeder said plans for the play area include a slide that will run down the side of a small hill, instead of being a standalone structure. A slide with the right length and grade for the embankment “was a bit tricky to find,” he said.

The county had received two quotes, both from Columbia Cascade Company, for slides that would fit the play area. One option was a plastic slide with curves, and the other was a straight slide made of steel.

“Is it south-facing?” asked Commissioner Paul Graupmann. If so, he said, the plastic slide might be a better choice, because it would heat up less in the sun. Schroeder said he was looking at the plastic slide option, in a tan color. The cost of the plastic embankment slide was $7,320, which would be paid out of the county parks department’s grounds improvement budget.

“We’re hoping we can get it done in May,” he said. The quote for the slide said it could ship within 60 days of making a final order and specifications.

Development for Twin Lakes Park, which is located between two lakes in the southwest corner of Lyon County near Florence, started back in 2014. The park’s grand opening in the spring of 2016 didn’t mean a stop to construction work. Lyon County received $345,000 in state Legacy grant funding to help expand the park, Schroeder said. That work has included construction of a second campground with restrooms, an area of native prairie restoration, and a boat landing on West Twin Lake. He said he hoped the new campground would be open this summer, after some grass seeding grows in.

Schroeder said the county is still working on some final touches to Twin Lakes park. Not far from the naturescape play area, they are working on space for a fire ring and benches, he said. Also under construction is an accessible path and observation deck at the southern campground, overlooking a wetland that attracts geese and other wildlife.

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