Wassermann West Waterfront Park

City:

Project Status: 
Active
Current Status: 

MCWD and the City of Victoria are in the process of preliminary design. An open house will be held in January 2018 for Victoria residents to provide input on amenities they would like to see incorporated into the park.

Aerial photo of Wassermann West Park
About this project: 

The Wassermann West Waterfront Park is the first major project in the Six Mile Creek – Halsted Bay Subwatershed that exemplifies the District’s balanced urban ecology framework. This can be seen in the commitment to partnership between MCWD and the City of Victoria to realize natural resource benefits while meeting community goals. Lake Wassermann Waterfront Park would provide water quality improvements, while providing public access and recreation opportunities on Lake Wassermann.

The groundwork for this project began when the District signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Victoria in 2015, which identified the mutual value both agencies find in cooperative planning on water quality issues and land use planning. The MOU identified Lake Wassermann as an area of mutual priority due to its poor water quality and location within the growth corridor of Victoria.  The lake is listed on the State Impaired Waters list, and the degraded lake conditions are primarily caused by a high invasive common carp population and a high phosphorus load coming from both internal and external sources.

In 2016, the District formed the Six Mile – Halsted Bay Planning Partnership, which brings together a variety of organizations located in the subwatershed to engage in proactive communication about plans, priorities, and opportunities for collaboration in the region. During routine coordination with the City of Victoria, staff from the City and MCWD identified 33.5 acres of undeveloped land for sale along the Lake Wassermann shoreline. The parcel includes Wassermann West Pond and adjacent wetlands, and restoring these areas could result in significant reduction in phosphorus entering Lake Wassermann, while also providing the public access to the lake, which was a goal identified in the City of Victoria’s 2008 Comprehensive Plan.

The District purchased the 33.5 acres from the landowner in June 2017. In May 2017, the District and the City of Victoria signed an agreement stating that the City of Victoria and District would coordinate to develop a park design that provides public access to and enjoyment of the site while restoring its wetland and woodland areas and implementing water quality improvements. The park will be a City Park and the District will retain easements that allow for ongoing management and maintenance of the site's natural resources.

Timeline and Concept Plan:

The City of Victoria and MCWD have worked together, with input from interested residents, the Lake Wassermann Lake Association, and the City of Victoria’s Park and Recreation Committee, to create a preliminary concept plan:

Wassermann West Waterfront Park Concept Plan

The public will have the opportunity in January 2018 to provide input on what amenities they would like to see in the park. The City and MCWD will take that input to inform a revised design.

January 2018: Open house for Victoria residents to gather input on park design

Spring 2018: Preliminary design completion; water quality improvement implementation

Anticipated Water Quality Benefits:

This project will provide the following water quality benefits for Lake Wassermann:

  • Phosphorus reduction of 75 pounds per year
  • Invasive species management across 7 acres of maple-basswood-oak woodland