Jason Olson, Deseret News
Arpi Varga and his 4-year-old son, Marty, wade in Utah Lake as kite boarders take advantage of a slight breeze Wednesday.

PROVO — The Utah Lake Commission has been polling the public and hammering out rough plans for the Utah Lake Master Plan for months, but Wednesday it got serious.

It was coloring time.

Commission members, aided by several local government leaders, rolled out maps, snapped open their markers and visually brainstormed ways to improve Utah Lake.

"We've come up with visions for Utah Lake's future," said Reed Price, executive director of the Utah Lake Commission. "Now we're taking these visions and we're putting them on the map."

It took the committee three hours, but by the end of the meeting, proposed trails, beaches and marinas were mapped out in blue. Areas in serious need of weed control were circled in green. Transportation issues were in black.

"It's really exciting to be at the point where we can really get down to the details," Price said.

The preliminary draft of the Utah Lake vision statement focuses on recreation, natural resources, land use and transportation. The vision statement will guide the development of the master plan, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Among other things, commission members discussed expanded marina facilities, public beaches and improved sport fishery. They also talked about the feasibility of a trail looping the lake and linking mass transit to destination sites.

"My dream is to be able to bike around Utah Lake without getting hit by a truck," said Greg Beckstrom, Provo's deputy public works director.

Commission members also tackled tougher issues, such as removing carp and freeing shorelines from reed infestation.

"We recognize the need to do something about these problems," Price said. "We need to do something about them soon. The carp removal, the invasive species removal — those are just plants and animals that are degrading the environment and shouldn't be there."

Over the next few weeks, planners will consolidate and streamline the commission's ideas for the lake. On July 30, the commission will present its conclusions to the public during an open house at the Utah County Health and Justice Building. On July 31, there will be another open house at the Lehi Senior Citizens Center. Both meetings start at 7 p.m.


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