Friends of Pool 9 volunteers complete beach renovation

Dozer operator Ken Steiber removes the heavy growth of poison ivy and reshapes the beach surface. The Lansing beach area following renovation offers better beach accessibility and increased width of the beach area. Submitted photo.

Twenty Friends of Pool 9 (FOP9) volunteers and staff from the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge McGregor District spent Friday, June 12 improving the beach area just upriver from Lansing. Shrubs, overhanging branches and poison ivy were removed and the beach was reshaped with a bulldozer. Brennan Construction of Lansing provide the equipment and Weymiller Marine transported it to the beach area. Ken Steiber operated the dozer, as he had done before for FOP9 during the 206 beach project.
The beach renovation project would not have taken place without the contributions of Brennan Construction and Weymiller Marine.  “This was a major donation by Brennan and Weymiller,” stated Bruce ReVoir, President of FOP9, “And we could not have done it without them. We thank them and appreciate their willingness to support FOP9 activities of this type.”
The 20 volunteers used chain saws, weed whips and tree trimmers to remove unwanted limbs and shrubs.  Ken Steiber reshaped the surface with the Brennan dozer and created extended areas for tenting and camping. Area resident Jim Brennan commented, “This is the most perfect beach on the river, and the area looks like a park.”
Rich King, the National Fish and Wildlife Refuge District Manager for Pools 9, 10 and 11, was pleased with the final results. Plans are being made for a continuation of the island project to include the planting of swamp oak trees along the higher ridge of the island.  
There is also the possibility that similar beach renovation projects and oak tree plantings will take place on other beaches in the area. However, this will depend on the availability of the large equipment needed for the project.  FOP9 is trying to establish lines of communication with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and channel dredge contractors to receive sand for area beaches in the future. Area beaches received island nourishment sand in the past (2008) during mechanical channel maintenance and FOP9 volunteers are hopeful it will happen again.