The Mt. Carmel Dam Recreational Area will be revitalized for campers, fishermen, and water enthusiasts this summer as the Cavalier County Water Board found numerous ways to give the popular rec area a much needed update.
Posted on 5/21/16
By Melissa Anderson
“The Cavalier County Water Board has been working hard over the years to update the rec area,” Shauna Schneider said.
Just last year, the area had several updates completed including the new bath house/office, light poles in the new area, and all of the outbuildings were re-tinned.
“Anyone that spends time at the Dam can see the need for more recreational items,” Schneider stated.
The need for a fishing pier was obvious with the docks crowded with children and adults that couldn’t access a boat due to disabilities. With a growing number kids that come camping with their parents, the need for more playground equipment was also apparent. Add to that the loss of trees and the need to add more trees and the Cavalier County Water Board had a full list of ‘to-dos’ for the upcoming camping season.
“We lose trees every year due to weather and age, but we also have the new area of campers that needed trees.” Schneider said, “All of these items and more have become goals for the Water Board to tackle in the future.”
This year the Cavalier County Water Board has been working on water issues on the east side of the campground. The board has also planted 170 Lilacs & 39 trees thanks to the assistance of Langdon Area High School and in coordination with Sharon’s Greenhouse, NRCS and ND Forestry Service.
“The beach area is being improved with new sand and we are also tackling weeds that have taken over the swimming area and cleaning that up,” Schneider added.
There is a handicap accessible fishing pier going in right north of the fish cleaning station. New playground equipment is being put in next to the wildlife shelter as well as a shade shelter. ABC Docks is providing the fishing pier and Dakota Fence is supplying the playground equipment. Bud’s Welding is working on the dock extension and the shade shelter.
“An extension to the loading dock will help with the loading problems we’ve had in the past with too short of a dock,”Schneider explained.
Schneider continued stating that all of the improvements have been chosen based on need as the rec area has become a hot spot over the years.
“The demand for upgrades and more recreational activities has helped us in choosing the improvements needed for to do,” Schneider said.
All of the areas of improvement that are being tackled this year, besides the water line, are partially funded with grants that have been written by Schneider as well as with a generous donation from the Langdon Eagles Aerie 3454.
The Cavalier County Water Board has been awarded a ND Parks & Rec grant as well as grant monies from the ND Heritage Fund. Schneider worked hard with agencies around the state and applied and presented grants for funding the projects.
“There are two grants out that we are waiting to hear from, and both are from the ND Forestry Service with a master plan for the rec area regarding trees and a Community Foundation grant where I’m hoping to have the high school students next year plant 17 trees that will be dedicated to the class of 2017,” Schneider said.
Besides involving the local Eagles Aerie #3454 to assist with the projects, Schneider has brought together many area businesses as well as local and state agencies. The businesses/agencies she has pulled together for these projects include: Langdon Area High School, NRCS, ND Forestry Service, ND Parks & Rec, ND Heritage Fund, Witzel Construction, Hanson Design Associates, Cody Schlittenhard, Sharon’s Greenhouse, Langdon Eagles Aerie #3454, Langdon Firemen, ABC Docks, Dakota Fence, Bud’s Welding, and, of course, the Cavalier County Water Board.
With so many different businesses, individuals, and agencies working together, Schneider believes the improvements to the Mt. Carmel Dam Rec Area should be completed well before the end of the year.
“Trees are in now, and the grants we are waiting on will be completed in 2017,” Schneider said.
The fishing pier is ordered as well as the new playground equipment making Schneider hopeful for a June completion date for these two improvements.
“The Langdon Fire Department has volunteered their time to put the playground equipment together for the rec area,” Schneider explained, “This generous donation of time is greatly appreciated.”
The shade shelter is currently under construction as well as the dock extension for the loading dock. Schneider is also hoping these two projects can be completed by June.
“These improvements are important for our community as a whole,” Schneider explained, “Mt. Carmel Dam Recreational Area is a huge asset to our community and provides many areas of outdoor entertainment and camping.”
The Cavalier County Water Board’s objectives in undertaking these projects is to continue to provide access to public lands for sportsmen, conserve existing natural areas, as well as develop additional areas for recreation.
“Mt. Carmel Recreational Area is one of the best kept secrets in northeastern North Dakota,” Schneider stated.
Local residents as well as visitors from around the U.S. and Canada enjoy fishing, boating, tubing, waterskiing, knee boarding, jet skiing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing and camping.
The recreational area is also host to reunions, anniversary parties, birthday parties and weddings throughout the summer.
“These activities are all experienced while surrounded by the beauty of North Dakota hidden within the prairie of Cavalier County,” Schneider stated.