Waves Of Lake Eroding Part Of Shoreline

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Mother Nature is playing a slowly developing trick on Green Valley Park -- the main lake is growing larger and the land area is shrinking.

"Someday (GVP) could be one big lake," town of Payson Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind said.

The natural phenomenon is occurring on about 150 yards of the northwest shore that is gradually eroding away due to waves created by westerly winds.

Schwind says the erosion has been ongoing since the park was built six years ago, but has now reached the point it is causing damage to the shoreline.

The waters are threatening to whisk away a sidewalk that once wound 10 to 12 feet from the lake edge. The waves have also eroded a shore line irrigation pump housing.

The lake also extends to a group of large rocks that once were clearly on land.

"We have some pictures of the park when it was first built and you can easily see the sidewalk, sprinkler box and rocks were clearly on land only," Schwind said. "We've lost about 5 to 10 feet of shoreline."

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The erosion, caused by waves and westerly winds, threatens this irrigation pump housing.

The solution to the problem might lie in partnering up with Arizona Game and Fish and the Heritage Fund.

"We'll look at possibly doing some kind of matching grant with them," Schwind said. "Fixing the problem will be done when we find the money."

Schwind opposes building a sea wall saying, "aesthetically, we don't want a giant swimming pool here."

Instead the answer might be a dam similar to one that was constructed on the west side of the main lake.

"That was built with chain link fence material," Schwind said. "Large cages were built and filled with rocks."

Because the town and P&R department have never dealt with a problem like this, it's almost impossible to estimate the cost of shoring up the park.

"It will depend on what kind of material we use to repair, but I'm thinking $100,000 to $125,000, " Schwind said.

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