Why is a healthy meadow important?
A fully functioning meadow is a huge asset to the larger ecosystem at Jenkinson Lake. The meadow and the area that surrounds it provides a great spot for picnics and relaxation in a spectacular outdoor setting.
But it also serves another important purpose.
The meadow prevents flooding by slowing and spreading flood waters. and meadow plants and grasses naturally filter out sediment, trapping any pollutants that might otherwise flows from the nearby road and campground into the lake.
Jenkinson Lake is the main drinking water source for EID's customers. A healthy functioning meadow provides many long-term benefits for customers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Earlier this summer, when the wildflowers were thick and high, Hazel Meadow—located on the northeastern shore of Jenkinson Lake in Sly Park Recreation Area—was dedicated in a small ceremony attended by representatives from the California Department of Fish and Game and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. These agencies provided funding for different components of the project.
In October of 2008, volunteers that included Girl and Boy Scouts, their leaders and parents, EID employees, and consultants from Foothill Associates planted native grasses and other plants in the meadow. Those plants took root, the boardwalk was built, and the meadow is functioning again.
"This is an amazing water quality project benefitting people of El Dorado county and the Sierra Nevada," said Sierra Nevada Conservancy representative Lynn Campbell. "We were proud to provide the funds for constructing the boardwalk that helps ensure this fragile meadow stays healthy for generations to come."
"This is a win-win for EID and the county, as well as the volunteers and youth who participated," said Lisa Wolfe-Kolb, staff counsel at Fish and Game. "It really is a poster project for EID and I hope it sets an example for similar projects going forward."
And it’s an award-winning example as well. In 2009, the restoration project earned the California Environmental Protection Award from the state-wide California Rural Water Association.
Come out to visit and enjoy this beautiful and educational area. Also remember to stay on the boardwalk (no bicycles or skateboards, please)—this helps protect our water and the beautiful meadow for generations to come.