As the story goes, Pomin Park’s baseball field was built overnight in the ’70s within the Polaris Creek wetlands. Not by an agency, but by the people, to fill a community need.
Whether or not history confirms that tale, the Tahoe City ball field and adjacent Lake Forest Campground have been dealing with flooding for a long time thanks to their location (Polaris Creek runs just east of the two recreational amenities and into Lake Tahoe). Now, the Tahoe Resource Conservation District is gathering agencies and the community to talk restoration of the wetlands and possible relocation of the ball field and campgrounds.
“It’s very early on, but it’s also been talked about for 20-plus years,” said Nicole Cartwright, executive director of the Tahoe RCD. “There’s a lot of constraints in how [the project] happens because it’s a highly used area, it’s a high-profile area, being connected to a lot of land and the boat launch and neighborhoods. There’s a lot of complexity to how that rolls out.”
Before any decisions are made or an environmental analysis is performed, there must be a feasibility study, headed by the Tahoe RCD and backed up by such agencies as the California Tahoe Conservancy (CTC), California State Parks, Placer County, and the Tahoe City Public Utility District.
Money for the initial work comes through the CTC’s Proposition 1, and will fund the feasibility study, basic conceptual designs on restoration, and potentially relocating the ball field, which Cartwright recognizes as “a cornerstone to the community.”
There are no plans to remove the field completely. Staff is looking at larger properties that are mostly flat and adjacent to the community. Initially, 13 to 15 different properties were identified for relocation, but options have been whittled down to the Tahoe City Transit Center, somewhere near North Tahoe High School, and the Firestone property off Highway 28.
On Nov. 5, Zephyr Collaboration, a partner in the restoration efforts, is hosting a community workshop on the project. The workshop will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at NTHS’s dining hall, 2945 Polaris Rd. in Tahoe City.
“I think we’re really hoping to hear what [the community’s] concerns are or what they’re excited about,” Cartwright said. “We like positive feedback too. At this point, we’re pretty open to hearing any thoughts someone may have. We really want to focus on what’s happening at Polaris, but it could be concerns about potential relocation spots … it’s not too early to voice that, too.”
But there’s ample time: Cartwright told Moonshine Ink that the entire project will likely take 10 years, and that the community will have plenty of opportunities to be involved and provide input.
Main Image Caption: SPILLAGE: When Polaris Creek spills over into the wetlands around Pomin Park, little leaguers often find themselves standing in soggy grass or even puddles. Efforts to simultaneously restore the wetlands and either reconfigure/relocate the ball field seek to effectively restore a natural wetland and improve Lake Tahoe clarity. Photo courtesy the Tahoe Resource Conservation District