RENO, NV - After more than 70 years use and $700,000 in restoration projects, it's time to celebrate one of Reno's favorite spots.
Virginia Lake is, without a doubt, one of our favorite retreats. A scenic spot for a lunchtime walk or jog, feeding the ducks and geese, casting a line, all barely a block away from busy Virginia Street.
"Everyone knows where Virginia Lake is," says Reno Councilwoman Sharon Zadra, "and I would venture to say there isn't anyone within the city who hasn't been here for some kind of recreation."
The lake is man made, created in another time of economic distress. One of the thousands of infrastructure projects launched during the Great Depression.
It was once an open field, but beginning in 1936, local men hired by the Works Progress Administration turned it into the lake we see today. Once completed, hundreds of residents turned out for the first day of fishing.
After 70 years it needed an upgrade.
Much of it was erosion control along the east side, another restroom, landscaping and trail work at the south end, more trash cans, benches and, of course, the fishing pier.
Seventy years ago it was local officials who chose to build Virginia Lake as an investment in the community's future and in it's local workers during tough times.
Ironically the restoration project celebrated today serves the same goals in the same climate.
"It's kind of coincidental that it happened at another bad economic time," says Zadra, "but that gives me even more pride in the community involvement and the commitment this council has inimproving our infrastructure."
Funding came from construction taxes, grants and some private buy-ins.