The McIver Dairy Project
Are you concerned about what’s going on with the McIver Dairy Project? Is it another housing development? Grocery store? Parking lot?
None of the above.
Concerns over the current ecological state of the McIver Dairy property has prompted the Truckee Town Council to move forward with plans to restore the land.
That's right, it's a land restoration project!
In 2001 the town of Truckee acquired the property, which sits across Donner Pass Road from the Tahoe Forest Health Center, to maintain it as an open space. “This project has been talked about for a long time but it needs to be addressed,” said Truckee Mayor Carolyn Wallace Dee. “The meadow and the building have been abused for a long time.”
The area is very attractive to visitors, primarily used as a sledding hill, but the use of the land has left it littered with trash, broken sleds and a land maintenance nightmare. The lack of suitable restrooms also creates issues for maintenance and has the possibility to lead to water contamination. The city has proposed placing porta-potties near the sledding area during the winter months for visitor use, but while the porta-potty units may mitigate the issue in the short term, it does not offer a sustainable solution.
In January of 2018 a survey was held, collecting input from the community on how the property should be utilized and whether or not the town should invest in improvements. Over 70 percent of the survey participants supported improvements of the site.
Currently, there are two options being reviewed for restoration and use of the land. Both plans involve installing walkways and crosswalks across Donner Pass road and potentially an on-site restroom. The more ambitious approach to the plan would include a parking lot on the east side of the meadow to accommodate heavy usage during weekends and holidays. This plan would also include a boardwalk crossing over the meadow. Both plans are aimed at the watershed restoration efforts on the property.
With a partnership being formed between the town of Truckee and the Truckee Watershed council, the team is looking to restore the meadow to its natural state and protect sensitive portions of the Truckee River.
Room for Fun
In accordance with the overall goal of returning the meadow to its original state, the sledding hill would be diverted away from the meadow and boardwalks would be built over the watershed area to prevent further damage caused by pedestrian traffic.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the town to make some use of this site while minimizing impacts,” said Council member Patrick Flora.