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Dakins Lake Expansion
Dakins Lake Set to Open

We are excited to announce that Dakins Lake will be open to the public at 12 p.m. on Friday, May 22, 2015. Some changes to the 103 acre park include:

- 20 acres of water:
    - electric motors only 
    - stocked with channel catfish, bluegill, and bass
- Boat launch and dock
- 29 new campsites: 
    - 17 sites with water and electricity ($17 a night)
    - 12 sites with full hook-up ($24 a night)
- Two miles of trails
- Shower house
- Picnic shelter (available for reservation)

The original campground on the east side of the park still has 10 electric sites for $12 a night. Both tents and RVs are allowed in the primitive campground. All regular rules and regulations apply; but campers are now allowed to have an additional tent at their site for minor children. 

Thank you to all of our partners involved in this expansion project and the overwhelming community support. Though the park will be open, we will still be working on finishing some last minute touches. We appreciate your patience as we wrap things up, and hope you enjoy the new park! 

Project Overview Handout
Special Projects Ranger Carol Williams created this four-page handout to inform the public about the Dakins Lake Project.

Download here:
Dakins Lake Project Handout

The Greenprint Blog
Special Projects Ranger Carol Williams is blogging about Story County's plan for improvements at Dakins Lake. Check back here often for updates on the project!

The Greenprint Blog

Dakins Lake Fish Fund
A committee of concerned citizens is raising funds to purchase some privately raised fish. This committee has worked closely with the IDNR and SCC on a plan that will provide larger, “catchable” fish in two years or less.

The estimated cost is $6,000. The city of Zearing has established a Dakins Lake Fish Fund at Security State Bank to collect donations.

Download a brochure here:
Dakins Lake Fish Fund

95% Plans
Dakins Lake 95 Percent Plan
We received the next set of plans for the Dakins Lake Expansion Project from our engineers on November 1. These plans are about 95% complete.

The 100% plans -- that will go to bid letting -- are expected in mid-December. We are still on track to release the plans for bid in early January, with bid opening in February.

View more 95% Plans, including the proposed campground, tent camping, and boat ramp, on our Facebook page: 95% Plans

SCCB Approves Master Plan
The Story County Conservation Board approved the Dakins Lake Expansion Master Plan at its June 11 board meeting. Shive-Hattery, SCC's engineer firm, incorporated ideas from the public, SCC staff, and the project review team.

See a bigger image of the map and other project photos here: Master Plan

Public Meetings for the Dakins Lake Improvement Project
Two public meetings were held at the Dakins Community Center about the project. The meetings were held on May 8 and June 4 and we had a great turnout at both and received more than 40 comments from the public about the project. 

5.8.12 Dakins Public Meeting Photos

Public Input Top Ten
1. Accessible walking paths/trail around the lake
2. Mix of Primitive and RV campsites in separate areas/spacious
3. Thriving fishing environment
4. Showerhouse/Restroom facility
5. Picnic Shelter w/electricity
6. Handicap accessible dock/open shoreline with easy access to fish
7. Boat ramp
8. Native prairie /Interpretation
9. Playground/grass play area
10. Cabins

Dakins Lake Expansion
Thanks to the Dakins Family the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) was able to purchase the 62 acres west of the existing park in 2009. Story County Conservation will purchase the land this spring from the INHF.

The Story County Conservation Board and the Story County Board of Supervisors are planning a major expansion of Dakins Lake County Park. A new lake (below the existing one) and larger campground will be two major features.

Tax-increment financing (TIF) on the windmills in the northeast corner of Story County will be used to fund the project. We are moving forward with this project very quickly, however many factors will need to come together for us to achieve our goal of a grand opening the spring of 2015.