Lake Pacawa Creeping Into Eyesore Territory
by Patrick Lynn Outdoors Reporter
The addition of a Korean War Memorial may have brought a great deal of honor and pride to Worzella Pines Park, but Lake Pacawa itself leaves something to be desired.
“I remember going there to swim all the time,” said DeeAnn Donahue, executive director of the Plover Area Business Association.
“It used to have beautiful beaches. It doesn’t anymore.”
Lake District resident Krista Olsen said she remembers the beach being the main hotspot during her teenage years.
“Today it seems like Lake Pacawa has declined to the state of looking like a drainage hole for surrounding businesses, and no one is using the beach,” she said in an email.
One reason for the seeming decline could be that lack of any recent water studies preformed on the seepage lake. The last study was preformed back in the 1970’s, and nobody seems to know why.
“There hasn’t been a water study (of Lake Pacawa) as far as I’m aware of,” said Plover Village Administrator Dan Mahoney.
“We’ve done some things, generally speaking, to clean it up, but we haven’t paid much attention to the beach.”
Mahoney also said the village shares lake maintenance with the Lion’s Club, and they are preparing to create a master plan for the lake, but said those plans were in early talking stages.
The Center for Watershed Science and Education at UW-SP provides water quality testings for area lakes, but Water Resource Scientist Nancy Turyk said her department hasn’t recently tested the lake water for one simple reason: they haven’t been asked.
“We don’t have the money to just go out and do whatever studies we want,” said Turyk.
The condition of water at Pacawa without a study would be guesswork, but Turyk said given the surrounding landscape is largely agricultural, the issue is likely large amounts of nitrates, giving way to large amounts of algae, rather than suspended sentiment in the water.
She also added water quality in the case of Lake Pacawa is likely perceptual- people judge it’s quality based on it’s clarity. But until a lake study is preformed, there’s no way to know for sure.
One way to combat the problem is to bring attention to it, and that’s something Mahoney said an upcoming village celebration- a shortened revamp of Freedom Fest called “Celebrate Plover”- would likely do.
“It’s definitely an asset to the community,” he said.