There is lake access in Camden — Ryan Lake

Ryan Lake shoreline restoration plans were presented in 2004.

Ryan Lake shoreline restoration plans were presented in 2004.

Longtime Ryan Lake Park project nears completion

This summer, the Victory Neighborhood Association (ViNA) and its volunteers will celebrate the completion of a 14-year effort to establish Ryan Lake Park. Ryan Lake, hidden away in the northwest corner of Victory (on Xerxes at 47th Avenue), is a gem of a lake. Long known for its fishing, both from the dock and the ice houses that dot the lake in the winter, its shore was uninviting and without any amenities until recently.

The fishing dock is now accessible to persons of all abilities via a winding, paved path. A bike rack is available to park your ride while you dine at a picnic table (to be added soon). A new patio made of pavers is personalized with sponsors’ names and messages. Benches provide seating throughout the park. Perennials and shrubs were planted and selected for year-round color, to attract pollinators, and to create a beautiful area to sit and enjoy the lake. This summer will bring the final touch — new native plantings near the patio.

The development of Ryan Lake Park was spearheaded by ViNA’s Environmental Committee and was possible because of countless volunteers who worked tirelessly to plant the shoreline, clear brush and refuse, and advocated to local leaders about the value of additional greenspace. The project period was lengthy because the lakeshore is owned by Minneapolis Public Works, which typically does not get involved with recreation projects. A few years ago, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board obtained a permanent easement, which made it easier to develop the location as a park. A grand opening and other kick-off activities are expected later this summer, so watch social media and the Camden Community News for updates.

Ryan Lake’s ongoing maintenance will be funded, in part, by the neighborhood association’s paver sales. ViNA is selling pavers that can be inscribed with a message of your choosing and then installed in the Ryan Lake patio. Pavers are $125; purchase at victoryneighborhood.org or call 612-529-9558.

The goal of ViNA’s Environmental Committee is to improve the natural world in and near Victory. They promote and develop projects that align with this goal and Ryan Lake Park is a product of their work. The committee meets the first Tuesday evening of most months and is seeking new members who are also dedicated to improving the environment. If you live in the Victory Neighborhood, attend a meeting or call 612-529-9558.

This article was written by Diane Spector, ViNA Environmental Committee & Board Chair