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Sprucing up Lake Avalon

Work continues in wake of drawdown by Bennett Horne | March 15, 2023 at 9:20 a.m.
Bennett Horne/The Weekly Vista Maintenance workers of the Bella Vista Property Owners Association are making several repairs and improvements at Lake Avalon during the drawdown of the lake, which concluded on Monday.

Bella Vista Property Owners Association maintenance crews have been taking advantage of the drawdown of the POA's very first lake to mark several clearance and erosion control projects off their "to-do" lists before the ramping up of warm-weather activities.

The drawdown of Lake Avalon lasted a little longer than normal, according to Lakes and Fisheries Superintendent Rick Echols.

"We are actually continuing with the Avalon drawdown until Monday," he said during the monthly meeting of the POA Lakes Committee held Wednesday, March 8, at the Bella Vista Country Club Boardroom. "The lake oscillated a little bit. It was down and then it was back and now it's down again, so we are going to next Monday."

The drawdown is also giving homeowners who own lakefront property the opportunity to finish some of their own shoreline projects.

"I did hear from a number of people who hadn't finished their projects and we also have a couple of projects that we need to ramp up, too," he said. "I don't foresee that causing us a problem because that lake collects water very quick."

Echols told the committee the gravel bar at the lake's boat ramp was removed, as well as 10 large stumps that were previously used as fish habitat.

"(The stumps) were not not inside the swim rope, but were close enough that we felt like they presented a hazard to people who may be swimming coming from the beach area," he said. "So we removed those and the intention is to use those elsewhere when we can, even if it's next fall when we lower our next lake."

Crews have also added additional rip-rap (truckloads of large white rocks) to two areas at the lake.

"The creek that comes in was starting to cut towards the parking lot, so we beefed that up with some rip-rap," Echols said, "and also we added some more and extended it on the beach side a little bit where there was a little bit of additional erosion going on."

Crews have also extracted lots of leaves from Lake Avalon, a process that is always on the maintenance list during a drawdown at any of the POA's lakes.

"If you think about down at the dam, the corner of the lake adjacent to the parking lot is an area that collects a lot of leaves," Echols said. "That's the way the wind blows. Over the years, leaves have built up in that area and we removed three dump truck loads of compacted, decomposing leaves from that area which, again, is the reason we ask that people not blow or rake leaves into the lakes."

Echols reported his crews took care of some stream bank stabilization "between the outflow of Avalon and it's confluence with Tanyard Creek," adding, "There's also some concrete patches we need to add to the spillway, which we need to do after the water is off, but before the lake comes back to full pool. So we're trying to thread the needle on that one."

As for the beach itself, Echols said, "There's been some new sand put in and we did remove some leaves and debris that was starting to fill in there. And now, as the lake comes up, there are some wet-weather springs that kind of pop up from time to time in that area and that tends to wash the sand a little bit. So as the lake comes up we're likely going to have to go in again and replace some of the sand that's coming up. And in a month or so, as we get closer to the opening, there will be some more white sand brought in for the above water portion of the beach."

Echols said current plans are for Lake Windsor to receive the next drawdown.

  photo  Bennett Horne/The Weekly Vista Workers added rip-rap (large white rocks) for bank stabilization between the parking lot at the beach and the creek that flows into Lake Avalon during the lake's current drawdown.
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