WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Just in time for spring, Williams residents can soon enjoy being outdoors again at Cataract Lake County Park.
The city of Williams and Coconino County Parks and Recreation will put on a Grand Re-Opening and Community Celebration of Cataract Lake County Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday April 13.
Workers broke ground on the Cataract Lake project in July. The completed project includes restrooms, ramadas, a playground, horseshoe pits, trails, picnic tables, barbecue grills, and benches. Additional landscaping will be added to the park when the weather gets warmer.
Carol Glassburn, who serves on both the Williams and Coconino County Parks and Recreation commissions, said the work has greatly improved the park.
"It has a lot more character, a lot more activities for people to participate in," she said. "The facility was rather run down from years of use, and this just really cleaned the area up and gives more to do for the public."
All former campsites were removed, making Cataract Lake a day-use only park. A parking area accommodates 39 vehicles. The park now complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The project cost $2.1 million, including the master plan process, design and construction.
The project is part of the Coconino Parks and Open Space (CPOS) program. In 2002, voters approved the initiative, which raised the county sales tax by one-eighth of one-cent. The money is used to develop and redevelop parks and acquire open space within the county.
Regina Salas, outreach coordinator for Coconino County Parks and Recreation, said residents have looked forward to the redevelopment of Cataract Lake since the initiative passed in 2002.
"I think this is really a wonderful community asset," Salas said. "It provides a place for gathering, a place for celebration, and of course a place to commune with nature."
The grand opening event will include a ceremonial turning over of the key from the county to the city. Although Coconino County built the park, Williams will operate, maintain and manage the park.
The celebration will include a complimentary barbecue, games and activities for kids.
"This is really a grand community event and the community is mobilizing resources to make this celebration really something memorable for the community members," Salas said.
Members of the Williams city staff, city council, Williams Parks and Recreation Commission, Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce, the mayor, and city manager are expected to attend the re-opening. Members from the Coconino County Board of Supervisors, Coconino County Parks and Recreation Commission, and county management staff are also expected.
Glassburn said thanks to the redevelopment, the park is now a unique place for locals and visitors to enjoy.
"We have another venue to enjoy our climate and the beauty of the pine forest and surrounding mountains, and it gives us an opportunity to showcase Cataract Lake and Elephant Rocks Golf Course," Glassburn said.
Cataract Lake County Park is at 1500/1510 N. Country Club Road. Limited parking is available, so organizers ask those attending the celebration to carpool.