Exploration Green completes a new parking lot and continues work on the remaining phases

Exploration Green is a project to transform a former Clear Lake golf course into a retention pond capable of holding 500 million gallons of stormwater. (Courtesy of the Clear Lake City Water Authority)

Despite the challenges of fundraising and construction in the midst of the pandemic, Exploration Green officials and volunteers made progress with the new parking lot on the reserve and worked on two more sections of land.

“As our world begins to return to something normal, our volunteers are eager to a number of volunteer events and opportunities, ”staff wrote in a July update. “Normal maintenance activities are resuming in tree, wetland and grassland nurseries, with opportunities for weed planting in wetlands and grasslands already underway. Tree planting opportunities are planned for this fall.

Exploration Green is a 178-acre former golf course transformed into a stormwater retention basin between El Camino Real, Bay Area Boulevard and Space Center Boulevard. The land is divided into five phases. Work is underway, or will begin soon, on Phases 3B, 4 and 5, depending on the July update.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 3 to celebrate the completion of the reserve’s new parking lot. Phase 4 excavation work has progressed over the summer and major construction will be completed by the end of the summer, according to the update.

Phase 3B – which includes land north of 3A and ends at Penn Hills Lane, according to the update – work is also expected to begin soon. According to the update, authorization and grant delays due to COVID-19 have slowed the start of excavation work on Phase 3B, but construction is expected to begin this summer and construction work is expected to be completed soon. ‘by mid-2022.

Preparations have also started for the phase 5 work. The contractor had to move the mud from the old golf course ponds to phase 5 to allow it to dry properly before it was transported to sites of permanent landfill, according to the update. Construction of the “outfall” structure similar to Phase 1 is essentially complete, and work on the trails is also progressing.

The public are urged to stay off the Phase 5 trails until construction is complete for safety reasons, officials said in the update. The owner of the pipeline running through Phase 5 will lower the pipeline below the existing flood control ditch later this summer, and construction can then begin in earnest on Phase 5.

A newly fenced area along Bay Area Boulevard has been created to partially replace tree, wetland and grassland nurseries when construction begins in that area later in 2021, according to the update.

Read the previous one Community impact journal cover here. Visitors can follow Exploration Green news through their website or The Facebook page.

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