Truckee Town Council moves forward with McIver Dairy restoration
The McIver Dairy property will be getting a facelift as Truckee Town Council approved a restoration project to make the property more accessible to the public while protecting the existing watershed.
“I think it’s a very worthy project and worthy of our support,” said Councilmember David Tirman. “A tremendous amount of work has gone into it. The design is both an art and science.”
Working alongside the Truckee River Watershed Council the town has developed a conceptual plan for the site which may include benches, a bathroom, up to half a mile of trails, around 20 on street parking spaces and two crosswalks across Donner Pass Road.
“It’s really our point of view that the wetland project can be complementary with public access and public use,” said Lisa Wallace, executive director of the Truckee River Watershed Council.
Wallace said the watershed council is working with the design team, the historical society and the town to protect historic buildings on the site to make sure the project will shift water away from the foundation of those buildings.
In addition, Wallace said the project will work to limit the amount of sediment and chemicals coming from the meadow that flows into the Truckee River.
“The project will expand what becomes functional wetland and functional meadow,” she said.
The town in 2001 acquired the property, which sits across Donner Pass Road from the Tahoe Forest Health Center, to maintain it as an open space. Since then the property has been utilized, mainly by tourists, as a popular sledding hill.
The project will aim to divert sledding away from the meadow towards the east side off the property.
While the area is attractive to visitors as a recreation area, Mayor Carolyn Wallace Dee said the property has seen better days. During a clean-up project on the site five years ago, the mayor said, the group hauled out 30 bags of trash.
“We started talking back then about what the town needed to do to improve that site,” she said. “So it’s nice to see this coming forward.”
While the Watershed Council has obtained some funding for the meadow restoration component of the project, the town has not identified a source of funding yet for the rest of the project.
“I would certainly hope that we would be able to find some money within our overall budget,” said even Councilmember Patrick Flora, even if that meant taking a small portion out of the Envision Donner Pass Road Project.
“This is a project that would warrant doing it right.”
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.