A recent evaluation reveals that the south side of the dam at Ocean Beach has weakened.  If not corrected, it could lead to a catastrophic failure of the structure.  Should that happen, the level of the lake could drop by two to four feet. With the depth of the lake in mind, consider where that puts the new shoreline.

Five years ago, the same scenario faced Clark Lake when it was discovered the north side was deteriorating rapidly. No governmental agency claimed ownership or accepted responsibility.  As defender of the best interests of the lake, the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation raised funds, hired a contractor, and saw to it that the dam was repaired. And now, as the lake faces a similar challenge, the Foundation’s directors have voted to initiate repairs, in line with the Foundation’s mission of Standing Up for Clark Lake

Reconstruction of north side of dam five years ago

This activity is not without a significant price tag.  The cost of reconstruction will exceed $10,000.  The Foundation plans to ask for donations, and will refer to this as “Dam Strong for Clark Lake Fund.”  Donations can be made via this website, or by writing a check and mailing it to PO Box 224, Clarklake, MI 49234.  The Foundation is a 501c3, and donations are tax-advantaged.

Prior to discovery of this new infrastructure fault, a separate plan to clean up unwanted brush and establish eye-pleasing landscaping around the dam was initiated.  This activity is supported by a generous donation from M-R Builder’s Mike McKay.  The plan calls for installing four Spirit Trail benches on cement pads and a bike rack.  The newly refreshed area will be inviting to cyclists, walkers and runners using the Trail along Ocean Beach Road.

The placing of the benches offers another opportunity to raise the much-needed funds.  Funds from these four benches will be allocated to repairing the dam, and Spirit Trail maintenance and improvements.  Details to follow.  

These two photos illustrate some of the trees and brush at the dam.  As roots grow and expand into the infrastructure, fissures can develop.  The problem is compounded when water seeps into the openings, and damage is compounded due to freezing and thawing.