Lake Sylvia State Park in the past two months has had good fortune, much of it thanks directly to community support.
The park, north of Montesano, is the home to the lake, a campground, and a network of trails that connect with the City of Montesano’s city forest for miles of hiking and mountain biking opportunities.
Late last week, the state approved its capital budget, which includes funding for the proposed Legacy Pavilion.
The project received $696,000 from the state. In total, the project is estimated to cost some $750,000. The Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia (FOSLS) have raised or received pledges adding up to $200,000 to match. The 1,100-square-foot closeable structure (3,000 square-feet including the space beneath the overhanging roof), as currently proposed and designed, will include a cold-water sink and counter tops behind a fireplace.
The pavilion could be rented to host events. The structure would be appropriate in nearly all seasons with the ability to house some 50 people.
In more good news for the park, the dock on Lake Sylvia received a make-over at the end of December 2017, courtesy of Dr. Louise Baxter whose father, Dean, enjoyed fishing at the lake. Baxter grew up near Lake Sylvia and donated $9,200 for the work through FOSLS.
While park Ranger Miles Wenzel handled permitting, paperwork and ordering materials, it was Steve Swanson who handled the labor to refurbish the dock.
Some park staff guess the dock was at least 40 years old, according to a Facebook post by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
“It was old enough to become a public safety issue, with rotting boards and holes in the decking,” Wenzel added.
The dock is 32 feet wide by 50 feet long and it includes a swim ladder.
It’s good news for a park whose existence was once in jeopardy.
The state had proposed closing or giving away Lake Sylvia State Park in 2009. (The state also had proposed the same for Schafer State Park.) In response, community members and supporters of the park teamed up to form FOSLS. Through a 10,000-name petition and collaboration with the state park agency, FOSLS helped Lake Sylvia keep its state park status. A nonprofit corporation was formed, as was a management plan.