Pilgrim Point Park plan finalized, approved by Douglas County commissioners

Conditional use permit will now be applied for Lake Ida site.

This rendering of Pilgrim Point Park shows the various components of parks master plan. (Courtesy of Hagstrom Engineering)

With a price tag estimated at $1.2 million, Douglas County commissioners approved the master plan for Pilgrim Point Park . Now that the plan has been approved, the next step is to apply for the conditional use permit.

At the Tuesday, July 20, regular board meeting, Douglas County Parks Superintendent Brad Bonk provided the commissioners with a drawing that indicates what will be in the park and where it will be located. He also provided a breakdown of the estimated costs.

Pilgrim Point map
This map shows the location of the land at Pilgrim Point that Douglas County purchased and will be turning into a county park. (Forum Design Center)

The 8.5 acre piece of property when all said and done will include two picnic shelters/restrooms, two beach areas, parking lot, bike/walking path, playground and climbing sculptures.


Bonk said public input through an open house and survey, which had about 600 participants, indicated that the park should be kept simple and the habitat should be mostly natural.

RELATED STORY: Public's preference for new Pilgrim Point Park on Lake Ida: Keep it simple
He also noted that the open house was well-attended and that he was happy with the number of people who participated in the survey.

Of the estimated $1.2 million, Bonk said about half is for the cost of the two shelters and restrooms. However, for now, the bathroom that currently is on site will be the only one. And there will be an open shelter that will be available to use.

“When the life of the building and bathroom is over, they will be torn down and the new ones will be constructed,” said Bonk.

When contacted by the newspaper after the meeting, Bonk said to remember that it took more than 10 years to acquire Lake Brophy County Park and get funds to develop the park. And he said that was considered a quick moving project.

RELATED STORY: Poised for a park and development, sale of Pilgrim Point on Lake Ida is final
“So while yes, we plan to open Pilgrim Point Park to the public next summer, many of these elements on the park plan are years away before we would secure funding for them,” he said.

The funding to date to purchase the park has come from local tax dollars, but moving forward on the new development laid out in the park plan, Bonk said funds could come from a number of sources including grants, park dedication fees and other sources.

As the park was a former church camp, there were several buildings on the property that have all been removed. Any holes are in the process of being filled in right now, said Bonk, noting everything appears to be right on schedule.


Douglas County Commissioner Keith Englund told Bonk he was doing a good job and thanked him for all of his work on this project.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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