- Associated Press - Saturday, October 18, 2014

PICK CITY, N.D. (AP) - Lake Sakakawea State Park could nearly double in size as North Dakota officials plan to develop the Bay Point peninsula land that the state leases from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The project is part of a $30 million plan to improve recreation opportunities at parks across the state, the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1DmIlVZ ) reported. The state Parks and Recreation Department plans to build up to 100 camp sites, a boat ramp and parking, a family-style lodge and other park amenities such as comfort stations, small camper cabins and a walking trail.

“There’s a lot of a possibility here,” said park superintendent Greg Corcoran. “We’re kind of visionaries - we’d want to help the public stay in touch with nature.”

The Legislature is yet to sign off on the proposed project. The estimated cost to improve Bay Point is $8 million.

The peninsula was first home to the Catholic Diocese’s Camp Dominic Savio. These days, there’s only a small privately operated marina on about 200 acres, and its lease expires in 2017.

The new area would not border with the existing park, but the distance between both isn’t more than a hardy swim. Pick City lies between access points to either one by road.

The Bay Point peninsula would have to have its own entrance station and on-site staff.

“We’re warm and friendly and our goal is to protect the public, but not hover,” he said.

The director of the Parks and Recreation Department, Mark Zimmerman, said the expansion would relieve some pressure from the existing park, which operates at full capacity every weekend. He added that the chance to develop the site from scratch on raw land will allow the department to design spaces to accommodate the scale of motor homes and fifth-wheelers many people use nowadays.

“This is almost like a new park for us. This is fantastic,” Zimmerman said.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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