Sidewalk increases access to fishing pond

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When Pam Lathrop had a hard time getting children with disabilities close enough to Freeman Reservoir to do a little fishing, she thought there had to be a better way.

What the town needed was a fishing spot with wheelchair access close to town, Lathrop said.

That experience led to Friday's workday for volunteers at the Lil' Rascals fishing pond behind the Moffat County Public Safety Center.

"The handicapped need a chance to get out and fish," Lathrop said. "I'm doing it for the kids, the disabled."

Lathrop's efforts have included running a hotdog stand last summer and fall to raise money for a sidewalk that will allow wheelchairs to reach the children's pond. Lathrop's vision of the fishing hole doesn't stop there.

"Maybe next year, we can get the dock in," Lathrop said. "That takes a little more money."

This year, she is happy to see people turning out to haul gravel and pack the ground where the sidewalk will soon be.

Friday's turnout of volunteers had Bobcats digging up the trail to the lake that the crew hopes to form for pouring concrete sidewalks. Workers with wheelbarrows dump gravel and begin the packing process.

Stanley Wolshon is digging with a shovel at the edge of the future sidewalk.

"It's a great, sunny day today," Wolshon said Friday. "I thought I would come out and do a little digging, a little earth moving."

Larry Adair was busy driving his Bobcat down by the pond where Lathrop hopes a parking lot for handicapped parking will soon take shape.

Today, the public is again invited to help behind the safety center, 800 W. First St.

Lathrop plans to have a hot dog stand at the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous coming up in June to raise money for the next phase of the project.

Sponsors for the project include Tri-State Equipment, City Market and Pepsi.

Toonies & Such donated a couple of Aspen trees for the pond project. Lathrop encourages anyone wanting to donate a memorial tree for the park to call Sgt. Tim Jantz at the Moffat County Sheriff's Office at 824-4495.

The Bank of Colorado will accept donations for the dock fund.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext.207, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com.

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