BLACKDUCK -- The Blackduck Beach Project Committee met on the sand and in the water last week to raise a glass in celebration of the near completion of a hard-fought battle to finally bring a beach-going destination to Blackduck Lake.
On Wednesday, Aug. 5, the six-member team and their families grilled some bratwurst, popped a champagne cork, toasted their success, and planned the grand opening celebration.
The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Blackduck Beach will take place on the beach at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, with the committee providing refreshments in the form of root beer floats on the beach. Everyone is welcome to attend, bring a lawn chair, wear a bathing suit, get some sand between your toes and take a dip.
The project began at a Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat, and thanks to a generous Blandin grant and training, as well as the hard work and dedication of a local committee of six: Misty Frenzel, Jace Grangruth, Nate Lien, Leslie Frosacker and Christina and Demo Regas, the community can now enjoy the result of that project.
The Blandin training emphasized the importance of a committee working together to meet a specific need for their community and this committee chose the Blackduck Beach Project in an effort to provide a public beach in Blackduck with access from both the Pine Tree Park Campground and a public access from Teepee Tonka Road.
While there are still things the group wants to accomplish, upon completion Blackduck Beach will feature a sandy beach -- 75 feet wide and 75 feet deep -- a parking lot with handicapped accessibility, accesses from the campground, Teepee Tonka Road, and a walk in, benches, picnic tables, and eventually restrooms with a changing area. The restrooms and changing area specifically are considered to be “Phase 2” elements of the project which will begin in 2021.
The group also says that the beach will be a safe place for children and families and that it will be patrolled. “This will be safer and closer and hopefully keep kids from biking out to Benjamin,” said committee member and Blackduck Police Chief Jace Grangruth. "It will also give kids and families more to do and appeal to families staying in the campgrounds at Pine Tree Park, making the campground more attractive.”
The group also sees the addition of a beach enhancing Blackduck’s tourism and bringing more support to local businesses, the campground and golf course.
“It took a year and four months to complete the project,” said committee member Misty Frenzel, “but we were finally able to put down the pens and pick up a champagne flute to toast ourselves. Luckily with the tools we learned at Blandin Leadership Training we’re still friends, so a big cheers to that. I’m so excited to be a part of this group who committed to making Blackduck an even better place to live.”
Donations toward completing Phase 2 are welcome at Blackduck City Hall and members of the community are invited to be a part of the grand opening.