Friends of Lake Panorama Survey Followup

By Susan Thompson 

December 2018 marked the fifth anniversary of Friends of Lake Panorama, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity dedicated to improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. The charity was established in response to members asking for ways they could give back to the Lake Panorama community with an estate gift or other tax-deductible donations. 

Major projects so far have been a playground at Sunset Beach and sports courts at Boulder Beach. A $473,000 estate gift made significant improvements possible at the Panorama West golf course. Donations also have funded renovations in the LPN dining room, memorial benches, and a rain garden.   

To help prioritize future projects, the Friends board of directors conducted a survey in April to gather input from Lake Panorama Association members. A total of 171 people responded to the six-question online survey over a three-week period, which Friends board members felt was a good response rate. 

A total of 10 potential projects were listed in the survey. Questions were asked to help prioritize those projects, based on survey respondents ranking their top priorities, plus the likelihood of them both using and financially supporting each project. 

Additional questions asked for input on how to implement specific project ideas, additional projects to suggest, and anything survey takers wanted to share about past or future projects. These questions garnered 175 written comments. 

The Friends board met June 24 to review and discuss the survey results, then developed a formal analysis and related action items. The next step was sharing this report with the Lake Panorama Association board of directors at theirJuly meeting, where the LPA board voted to accept the report. 

The Friends board analysis showed the top four projects chosen by LPA members are “beach” related, and where the main focus should be. The projects included general beach Improvements such as shelters, tables, and landscaping; gaming areas for such things as bocce ball and horseshoes; playground equipment at Boulder and Shady beaches; and miniature golf. 

The report to the LPA board said the Friends board believes beach maintenance and major infrastructure improvements fall outside of its nonprofit guidelines, so must defer to the LPA to fund those items. However, the Friends board is committed to raising funds for such things as playground equipment, benches, and other items to make the beaches more appealing. 

Two action items for beach-related projects were adopted. First, the Friends board and staff, working in conjunction with LPA staff, will research new playground equipment options for Shady and Boulder beaches. Once proposals have been developed, interested LPA members will be asked to provide input.

Second, the Friends board is asking for volunteers to serve on a task force to study gaming options that could be added to any of the three beaches. This task force also will consider basketball courts at Shady and Sunset beaches. Basketball courts at these two beaches ended up in 10thplace on the priority list. But because the Boulder Beach basketball court receives more play than the other sports courts there, the Friend board will include this in the gaming discussion.   

The projects that ranked fifth and sixth in the survey were related to walking trails. So the Friends board is seeking volunteers to serve on a task force to study upgrades to the existing trail near Panorama West, plus the creation of a new trail on the south shore.

Disc golf and dog parks ranked eighth and ninth on the priority listing. While these items didn’t rank as high as other projects, survey comments showed strong support for both from segments of the LPA membership.

A father/son team instrumental in the creation of a disc golf course elsewhere has volunteered to study the possibility of a course at Lake Panorama. They will work with Friends and LPA staff to investigate possible locations, plans, maintenance requirements, and budget. 

The Friends board is seeking volunteers to serve on a dog park task force to study location, design, costs, and rules for dogs and owners.

The remaining project included in the survey was a handicapped-accessible fishing dock. While this project did not rank high, nor have a solid group of supporters, the Friends board will keep this idea for future consideration.

The reports that result from these efforts will help inform future decision-making by the Friends of Lake Panorama board. A completed report that shows a project is “possible” is not a guarantee the board will proceed with fundraising and implementation.  

Once the Friends board decides on projects to pursue, a second report will be presented to the LPA Board, which has final authority over new projects on Lake Panorama property. 

To review, volunteers are being sought for three task forces — gaming options for any of the three beaches; walking trails; and a dog park. In addition, LPA members also are needed to provide input on playground equipment and disc golf, once proposals are developed. Task force meetings will begin in early September.   

LPA members who would like to help Friends of Lake Panorama research these proposed recreational amenities are asked to email staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org. Or call Susan Thompson at 515-240-6536. 

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