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2011 Snapfinger Creek Water Quality Improvement Project

The natural beauty of the lake and surrounding areas tends to draw and create strong environmental stewards in our tiny city. In the past 20 years, the City has developed the wetlands at each end of the lake into natural water filters, cleaning the water upstream from the lake and releasing it downstream. At the same time trails were created through the wetlands to allow us to observe and enjoy the extensive vegetation and wildlife that make their homes there.

In 2010 the City received a federal grant to make improvements that would lead to improved water quality and habitat creation.  Part of that project included dredging parts of the lake, repairing the berm that runs between the lake and the creek on the north side, and lowering the road on the west side of the lake to keep flood waters from backing up into homes. The project was carried out from July through November of 2011. This not only ensured the protection of many environmentally sensitive areas but also helped to protect homes along the creek from flooding.

Many thanks to both our Mayor and City Administrator at the time: Greg Zarus, who was instrumental in the planning of the project and getting the necessary grants and Phil Howland, who managed this huge project. Great job guys!

Residents were kept up to date during the process with The Pine Puddle Blog, authored by then City Council member, Melanie Hammet.

If you are interested in the details of the “Snapfinger Creek Water Quality Improvement and Habitat Creation and Enhancements Project” it was documented in great detail by the contractor, with daily construction progress photos. It is a rather large document (365 pages) and takes more than a few seconds to download, but it is very interesting and gives a good idea of how massive this project was. Click on the link above and have a look.

Aerial View of Empty Pine Lake
Arial view of the empty lake during 2011 project shows the original channel of Snapfinger Creek running down left side of the lake. In 1952 the back berm was built, and the creek was redirected along the backside of the berm.

Snapfinger Creek Channel Visible
Even with water in the lake, the original path of the creek is visible in this picture as a dark line snaking down the left side of the lake.