Missouri News

Informational meeting Saturday will focus on Wakonda State Park

Ben Kriebel cleans a grill Thursday at Wakonda State Park in LaGrange, Mo. The park reopened Aug. 1. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 12, 2019 12:01 am

LaGRANGE, Mo. -- Wakonda State Park will be the focus of a public informational meeting at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The meeting will take place at the Agate Lake shelter inside the park, located about 3 miles south of LaGrange at 32836 State Park Road.

The meeting will be hosted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as a way to let the public voice comments and offer suggestions about the park and its operations.

Representatives from the Missouri State Parks -- a division of the DNR -- will be on hand to provide information and answer questions.

A press release from the DNR said input from the public is important.

"These informational meetings, which are being held in all state parks and historic sites, help create two-way communication with the public," the release said. "The meetings give staff the opportunity to let people know the current status and future plans for the parks and historic sites, and they offer visitors the opportunity to comment on the facilities."

Wakonda State Park is one of Northeast Missouri's most popular outdoor recreational sites. The 1,050-acre park features six fishing lakes, a sand beach, a concession stand with johnboat and canoe rentals, picnicking areas, hiking trails and dozens of camping sites.

The park was out of service for about two months this summer after it was engulfed by floodwater from the nearby Mississippi River in late May. Two campgrounds were finally reopened to the public on Aug. 1, but more recovery work was going to be needed before other areas of the park could reopen.

This marked the third time in 26 years that Wakonda State Park was shut down after major flooding on the Mississippi River broke through the Union Township Drainage District's levee and submerged many of the park's facilities.

The first levee break occurred in July 1993 when the worst flood in history engulfed Wakonda, which remained closed for nine months.

Then in June of 2008, another major flood topped the Union Township levee and overran the park, which was closed for three months.

After the levee broke this past May 30, about 85% of the park was eventually under water.

Kyle Scott, Wakonda's natural resource manager, said once the floodwater finally receded, the park's four full-time employees worked diligently to clean, repair and repaint facilities so the park could gradually reopen.

More information about Wakonda and other Missouri state parks and historic sites is available at mostateparks.com.

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