Lake Mauvaisterre boat access will be upgraded soon thanks to a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Jacksonville’s Parks and Lakes Department applied for an Illinois Boat Access Area Development Program through the Department of Natural Resources back in October for $200,000. Kelly Hall, Director of Community Development and Recreational Facilities for the City of Jacksonville says it’s going to help the lake get more traffic. “We received the full amount we requested. The city doesn’t have a share, so it’s not like an 80/20 matching grant. The full money can be put towards the improvement of the dock and the loading ramp at Lake Mauvaisterre so it can get more use. We’ve had fisherman request that we improve that ramp. Right now, it’s just large rocks and gravel. We are going to make it pretty nice and provide some parking areas.”
Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office announced the 6 grant recipients today totaling $653,710. Hall says that a private club recently made a loading area on the northwest edge of the lake. “They are called the Paddle Yak Club. It’s just for kayaks to just walk up to the bank and put their kayak in. It’s not any kind of a loading ramp. There will just be a picnic table there and they can will have a clearing just to load and unload their kayaks.”
Hall says that the Parks & Lakes Department will begin work on the project this summer. Hall says that he hopes that more people will use the lake for recreation, including local high school bass fishing clubs and other fishing clubs for tournaments. “We are very excited about it. It’s a good way to increase traffic. It’s a nice recreational lake and we hope more people with smaller boats will be able to get out there and use it. There have been some discussions of various bass clubs in the area to use the lake. We hope everybody uses it more.”
If the city wants to continue to upgrade facilities at any lake, they can apply for the program next year during the grant cycle.