Lake visitors will find new playground equipment


Ken Wade

Photo by Clarke Davis
Perry Lake Operations Manager Ken Wade reports his team is prepared for Memorial Day weekend. New playground equipment has been provided at three areas.


by Clarke Davis
Memorial Day weekend opens the gate to the Perry Lake visitation season welcoming 600,000 to 800,000 people to Jefferson County in the days leading up to Labor Day.
“There’s a large diversity of users who come to this lake. We try to accommodate as many as possible . . . all are important to us,” said Ken Wade, operations project manager.
Small children have been given preferential treatment this year. New playground equipment can be found near the lake at the administration area and in the Slough Creek and Rock Creek parks.
Perry Lake draws a diverse population. There are those who camp, fish, and boat, but Wade points out that people come to birdwatch, use the all-terrain vehicle trail, hike, and play disc golf.
“We have a well developed 18-hole disc golf course that attracts tournaments,” Wade said.
During this interview in his office, Wade took a call from someone who wanted to bring their horse. He made sure they had the phone number for the Perry State Park and let them know they could camp with their horse near the equine trail.
Jason Hurley is the park manager and oversees the condition of the four federal parks.
“People want the grass mowed and clean restrooms,” Wade said. “We try our best with the funds we have.”
Wade complimented his team for taking responsibility for having the grounds ready and putting safety first.
“We even check the tree limbs in hopes of preventing one from falling on someone,” he said.
And he noted the team effort, not only locally but throughout the Corps’ Kansas City region.
Locally, Wade cited the fire departments that stand by to assist in emergencies and help with controlled burns and the sheriff’s department that contracts lake patrol officers for the season.
Region wide, Wade said they all support one another. “The public has no idea how many people are at work behind the scenes.”
The Corps of Engineers began impounding water in Perry Lake in January 1969. More than 25,000 acres of land was purchased for flood control and the lake covered 12,200 acres.
After 46 years, the northern section above K-92 Highway has silted in to the point that surface recreation is almost prohibitive.
The amount of sedimentation, however, is right on target for what was predicted during the lake’s first 100 years, reports Steve Spaulding, a hydraulic engineer with the Corps’ water management section.
The lake held 243,000 acre feet of water 46 years ago. It was assumed then that the lake would lose 93,000 acre feet to siltation in 100 years. In the latest Corps survey, about 43,000 acre feet have been lost, leaving 50,000 acre feet still in reserve.
At the 100-year mark, Perry Lake should still have 150,000 acre feet of water storage, Spaulding noted.
He also said the new farming methods and work by watershed restoration programs are helping slow the siltation rate and will increase the amount of water storage available in the future.

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Posted by on May 27 2015. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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