Wildflower shoreline improvement project sparks praise among residents

SUN CITY – The rear waterfall repair at Prairie Lodge probably is the most expensive repair project ever at Sun City ($480,000), but the Wildflower Lake shoreline repair may have the title of taking the longest time to complete.

After nearly two years of experiments, discussion, and federal and municipal approvals, Sun City’s fishermen, plus the Anglers Club, and the Grandma, Grandpa, and Me Club, got their shoreline back on August 18.

Shown here is the shoreline covered in a gravel called fines, which hardens quickly and handles well against ero- sion or submersion. It also provides a stable walking path. (Photo by Tony Pratt/Sun Day)

Shown here is the shoreline covered in a gravel called fines, which hardens quickly and handles well against ero- sion or submersion. It also provides a stable walking path. (Photo by Tony Pratt/Sun Day)

On that date, Brightview Landscaping finished installing fines (gravel) on the eastern shore of the lake, from the fishing pier to the northeast corner of the lake. Cost was $12,000, financed by the association’s capital reserve maintenance fund.

The gravel hardens quickly after it is installed, according to residents familiar with the repair process. The work has provided a three-foot-wide, level, safe walking path, they say, and a stable location for fishermen, who were mostly confined to fishing off the pier in recent months.

The decision to use the gravel along the entire eastern shore, and part of the south shore, was made by the board of directors in 2016. But the implementation had to wait several months to receive approvals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Village of Huntley. These approvals were required by federal and state laws because Wildflower Lake is actually a part of the Kishwaukee River, which runs from south to north through Sun City.

Spokespersons for the Anglers Club and the Grandma, Grandpa, and Me Club voiced positive reactions to the project.

Ed Dzubinsky, past president of the Anglers Club and an active fisherman, said, “This is a big improvement, I have heard positive reactions from many other club members.”

Cindy Ptak, president of the Grandma, Grandpa, and Me Club said, “It looks nice and I believe it will improve safety for our families.”

The club sponsors an annual children’s fishing derby in the early summer each year.

Several residents asked the Sun Day if there was any possibility that the gravel could wash away when the lake rises during heavy rains and the shoreline is flooded. The question was passed along to Dzubinsky.

“Gravel was put on the shore near the pier last year, and we have observed what happened in rainy periods since. There hasn’t been erosion of the fines in that area. This particular type of gravel hardens shortly after it is installed, and is stable even when underwater,” he said.

The shoreline issue started several years ago when the association discovered that erosion was taking place on the eastern shore. Installation of large boulders near the water’s edge successfully controlled the erosion, but created unstable and unsafe walking conditions for fishermen and walkers.

Wile the eastern shore is the most popular fishing area, some fisherman use special cleared fishing sites on the northern and western sides of the lake.

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