Lisa Niles realizes her good fortune in living on Little Muskego Lake, and was thrilled when "complete strangers" came out and helped to keep its only park a destination.
"It's been like this all week," Niles said of the groups that have enthusiastically joined in the efforts to beautify the launch area at Idle Isle Park. "We were out here earlier last week, and a man was fishing with his young daughter on the pier. He saw us working, asked what we were doing and asked if we had a spare shovel."
Niles said he remained for the next two hours, helping to move materials and even his toddler joined in, taking a few stones at a time.
"Community service is addictive," said Rob Glazier, a den leader with Pack 18 Cub Scouts out on Sunday with his boys.
Plantings were placed on either side of the boat launch, with rip rap placed to prevent erosion, and native species chosen with the approval of the DNR, according to Niles.
"We are so lucky to live on this lake," Niles said. "I'm proud of it, and I think it's important for the community to take ownership of this park. If you feel a part of something, you'll take pride in it and responsibility for it."
Renee Reckin, President of the Little Muskego Lake Association, said that there were so many groups that responded to the project, which is in its first year.
"We had seen membership dwindling, and with this project, I think people have seen what our purpose is," Reckin said. "We have had so many groups come forward and offer their help, so we're happy to see the people come out and help."
In future phases, additional plantings will extend along the shore on the other side of the beach, and the group hopes to raise money to install retractable piers to allow more boats to dock and gain access to the park. In addition, they are hoping to feature a boardwalk hear the launch area, a boat wash station, and provide more opportunities to make the pavilion operational, especially on the weekends.