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New Cut Road Offers Options for Fun & Exercise

Eastern Ponds

Eastern Ponds

There are times when you can have the 108 acres all to yourself, now, even more so. The City of Lamar recently bulldozed a new road leading to the two eastern most ponds at North Gateway Park.  Until recently, visitors could walk a northern path that followed the Arkansas River eastwards to the back ponds.  Now, you can drive on the south side, park and fish or just look around or go for a stroll.  The road continues to the east towards the final pond, but that is currently closed to vehicle traffic.

Time to Go Fish

Time to Go Fish

It’s quiet at 7:15 in the morning and there’s a nice, cool breeze coming off the water. Just the time and place to bait your hook, find a good spot along the shore and cast your line as this resident has done.  The ponds have been stocked over the past couple of years with rainbow trout and the City of Lamar has made use of grants for recent improvements for park visitors.  Most recently, a handicapped accessible, floating dock and what’s called a ‘vault’ restroom were constructed earlier this summer, using funding from a Fishing For Fun grant.

The park has become a magnet for youngsters affiliated with Heathy Places and LiveWell Prowers County activities, as well as students who attend the Project HOPE Center. Several outdoor fishing events have been held this past year with CP&W providing free fishing equipment for area youth who have never even been to the ponds before.

New Pond Road (2)

The Lamar City Council allows overnight fishing at North Gateway Park, providing a resident applies for a permit which must be shown to a law enforcement officer who might check on the park between 10:30pm and 4:30am. The permit, available from the city offices, is seasonal, April through October.

Two years ago, the smallest pond was filled in and a channel was excavated connecting the remaining two ponds, creating a larger one which would allow the fish to move easily from one area to another. The ponds have been used by migrating geese over the years and have been used as a handy viewing point by visitors to the area during the annual February Snowgoose Festival.  It was announced during a recent public update on the proposed Lamar Loop that the park has been included as a destination point with planned access under the Highway 50 overpass to allow pedestrians to continue their journey around the park.

By Russ Baldwin

 

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