Grant #281

Lake Park Watershed Project (Floating Wetlands and Pollinator Revegetation Project)

The City of Reno (City) proposes a collaborative Lake Park Watershed Project (Project) with One Truckee River (OTR), Friends of Lake Park, and Truckee Meadows Park Foundation. A natural resource initiative, this Project would use advanced wetland solutions and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-based education to support a healthy watershed at Lake Park’s central pond, which flows intermittently into the Truckee River. Specifically, Project objectives are to: 1) place three 10’x12’ floating vegetated wetland islands within the pond; 2) plant around the entire pond shoreline (wetland and natives) and in barren park areas; and 3) design and install two STEM-based signs. The Project will combine with OTR’s River-Friendly demonstration garden (funded by a 319(h) Grant) and complement Friends of Lake Park’s public art project; both funded and planned for installation in Fall 2023.

Lake Park has undiversified landscaping, consisting primarily of grass lawn, a few common tree species, invasive weeds surrounding the pond, and a few individual riparian plants. Patches of invasive weeds include bindweed, thistle, pigweed, and horseweed, and the pond edge is usually overgrown with a monoculture of Curlytop Knotweed, with a few milkweed plants interspersed. The pond receives inflow from the Highland Canal during the spring and summer months, and while it has a recirculation and aeration system, the pond is otherwise stagnant and has ongoing water quality issues related to water clarity, odor, and nutrient/bacteria concentrations, primarily due to the high population of ducks (summer) and geese (winter) that utilize the pond. Pond water routinely overflows into storm drains, causing the impaired water travels to the Truckee River.

TMWA Benefit:

Lake Park Watershed Project meets several grant priorities, specifically numbers VI – Stewardship and Environmental Awareness, II – Watershed Improvements, VII – Multiple Objectives, and VIII – Leverage Stakeholder Assets and Participation.

Priority VII is met through priorities II and VI. For priority II – Watershed Improvements, revegetating barren sections of the pond shoreline with various pollinator-friendly shrubs will reduce sediment erosion into the pond by keeping soil protected from rainfall and foot traffic. In addition, referencing Table 2 – Estimated Nutrient Removal Rate of Nutrients from Lake Park Pond (pounds per year) from the attached research report, the floating wetlands have the capacity to remove up to 1,800 lbs/year of Total Suspended Solids (TSS), as well as excess nutrients and BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand).

Priority VI – Stewardship and Environmental Awareness is met through the implementation of professionally designed STEM-based signage around the lake that allows the public to easily understand the function of wetlands in improving water quality, watersheds, and the general ecosystem. Several Washoe County School District schools, and a large preschool, are within walking distance to Lake Park, and will be notified about the STEM-based education at Lake Park via mailers that will encourage field trips to the park.

The project meets Priority VIII – Leverage Stakeholder Assets and Participation as it engages several agencies to collaborate and contribute to the project, including the City of Reno Utility Services Department, Parks and Recreation Department, the Friends of the Lake Park, The Truckee Meadows Park Foundation, and One Truckee River (OTR). Utility Services will provide in-kind (time and labor) project management services including project coordination, planning, and construction management. Parks and Recreation will provide in-kind services for landscape design, plant purchasing, plant cultivation in greenhouses (wetlands plants will need to be grown for 3-6 months prior to planting into the wetland island), and wetland installation support. The Truckee Meadows Park Foundation has also been engaged and will volunteer the labor of several skilled wetlands restoration technicians to perform the majority of the bank plantings, over several days.