Anclam Park Undergoes Renovations

By this time next year, kiteboarders could be launching from a completely renovated beach at Anclam Park. The first phase of the renovations, which focuses on the beach’s infrastructure, is currently underway, and the second phase, which focuses on beautification, will likely begin next year.

The Town of Baileys Harbor recently contracted Rass Excavating and Materials, a Sturgeon Bay-based company, to undertake phase one of the project, which involves installing a series of storm sewers and loading the beach up with sand. The storm sewers will be used to mitigate the discharge of excess stormwater onto the beach, which will help solve the E. coli problem the beach has had in the past.

The 4,000 cubic yards of sand that Rass is bringing to the beach will be used to extend the beach and create a series of dunes along the shore. Those dunes will prevent stagnant water pools from forming on the beach, which should be a relief to kiteboarders, says Town Engineer Steve Parent.

“There’re so many times they’d have to wade through murky, muddy water,” he says. “We’re hoping that by putting those dunes in we can solve that problem.”

Areas of beach grass will also be installed to help prevent beach erosion and filter stormwater.

Phase two of the project will involve the creation of additional beach parking, numerous planted areas, walking paths, and a dock from which kayaks and other small boats could be launched.

While the town will be saving a number of the larger trees that are already at the park, the new plantings will all be smaller shrubs and trees. Parent says that this decision was made mostly to preserve the view of the water, but a side effect is that kiteboarders won’t have to worry about any adverse effects to wind patterns.

One thing the renovations won’t take care of is the beach’s cladophora build-up. Kiteboarders and others who use the beach often come out of the water with the green algae clinging to their bodies.

During the renovation planning discussions, some residents asked if a foot-wash or shower of some kind could be installed at the beach so that swimmers could wash off after getting out of the water. Town Administrator Doug Smith says that while nothing is planned now, he expects that the subject will be discussed sometime in the near future.

For now, says Parent, the town is simply happy to finally be going forward with the plans that they’ve been discussing for years.

“We had tried to budget money for it every year, but it always seemed like something more pressing would come up,” said Parent. “I think everyone’s excited we’re finally moving ahead with it.”