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Dredging of Riverside Lake Could Bring Back Pedal Boats

Posted on May 27, 2024

The removal of tons of sediment from the lake in Riverside’s Fairmount Park could facilitate the return of pedal boats at the recreational site, officials said Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, the Riverside City Council unanimously approved a $925,000 contract with Riverdale-based MidCal Dredging Inc. to pull 26,000 cubic yards of muck out of Fairmount Lake, providing sufficient depth to permit pedal boating around the body of water, as in years past.

“Pedal boating on a summer day in Riverside is a sublime experience,” Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said. “I look forward to seeing Riverside families enjoying the lake through this fun activity that showcases one of our city’s biggest assets.”

Fairmount Park, established in 1898 and encompassing 280 acres, is the largest park around downtown Riverside, abutting the Pomona (60) Freeway and the Santa Ana River bottom. There are picnic areas, playgrounds, a golf course, fishing pier, a band shell and splash pads.

Fairmount Lake was developed in 1904 as part of a drainage network that includes Lake Evans and Brown Lake. The last dredging at Fairmount Park occurred in 2007, resulting in the removal of 20,684 cubic yards of sediment, according to the city.

“This (new dredging) work will result in a healthier lake that will be an even greater resource for Riverside residents,” Councilman Steve Hemenway said.

The city will tap federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay for the project, which is slated to get underway this summer.


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