The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) worked strategically with the City of Victoria to identify an opportunity to address water quality issues and provide new recreation space for the community in the Wassermann Lake Preserve.  The preserve connects the community of Victoria with the regional trail system through paved trails and a scenic boardwalk along the shoreline. A picnic shelter and nature play area provide comfortable space for families to gather and include interpretive exhibits that educate visitors on hydrological connections around the watershed. In addition, this project included the restoration of adjacent shoreline and wetland habitat and the construction of a new fishing pier and kayak dock for recreation on the lake.

In 2002, Wassermann Lake’s water quality was poor enough to result in an impairment designation from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, primarily due to a high phosphorus load and the increasing population of invasive common carp. As partners in the area began to invest in the natural resources of the region, the City of Victoria recognized a need for residents to have recreation opportunities nearby. By partnering with MCWD, the Wassermann Lake Preserve now provides a beautiful park that connects communities to the natural assets on the lake. Stormwater treatment features on-site also enhance water quality and improve recreation opportunities.

At a Glance

  • Victoria
  • Six Mile Creek – Halsted Bay Subwatershed
  • Status: Complete
  • 2021

MCWD Staff Contact

Michael Hayman



Project Cost


Lake Wasserman dock

Project Timeline

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Planning Phase

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Planning Phase

Spring 2017 Partnership agreement created with the Six Mile Creek-Halsted Bay Subwatershed Partnership

Spring 2017 — Land acquired

Summer/Fall 2017 Concept development begins for Wassermann Lake Preserve

Winter 2017-2018 Community input and engagement given for concept development

Summer 2018 Concepts refined based on community input

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Design Phase

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Design Phase

Summer 2019 Design initiated

Summer 2019 — Project ordered by MCWD Board of Managers

Fall 2019 — Community engagement open houses initiated to refine project design

2019 — Concept design and natural resource improvements finalized

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Construction Phase

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Construction Phase

December 2019 — Construction of the boardwalk begins

March 2020 — Construction of the boardwalk completed

Spring 2020 — Construction of the park structures begins

June 2021 — Construction completed

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Project completion

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Project Completion

June 2021 — Grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Wassermann Lake Preserve

By the Numbers



nutrient loading reduction each year



of wetland restored



prairie & oak savannah restored



stream Channel restored



publicly accessible greenspace

Project Highlights

  • New park shelter and playground
  • Interconnected trail system
  • Restored public access site
  • Fishing pier and kayak dock
  • Habitat restoration
  • Shoreline restoration
  • Underground stormwater treatment structures that improve water quality
  • Interpretive exhibits


To accomplish mutual priorities, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District formed the Six Mile Creek– Halsted Bay Planning Partnership with the City of Victoria and other local organizations to engage in proactive planning for collaboration in the region. Together, the partnership identified 33.5 acres of land on the Wassermann Lake shoreline as an opportunity to meet mutual goals and provide value for residents. The partners purchased the land and developed the plan for Wassermann Lake Preserve’s design. The Six Mile Creek-Halsted Bay Planning Partnership continues to promote fruitful work toward improved water quality by aligning natural resources and community development planning.

city of Victoria
Wasserman Lake Association logo


Project Cost: $2,700,000

Funding for Wassermann Lake Preserve was provided by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the City of Victoria. The Clean Water, Land, and Legacy fund contributed to the natural resource restoration efforts, including the Wassermann West Pond’s alum treatment.

Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment logo