Lions Den Campground on Mineral Lake gets a makeover just in time for fishing season
By Isabel Vander Stoep / [email protected]
As Mineral Lake glowed green in the Saturday morning sun, people strolled around the lakeside Lions Den campground with coffee mugs in hand and smiles on their faces.
A man approached camp manager Tina Moore to tell her he had just had the best sleep of his life at Lions Den Campground – he’s been staying there for 40 years.
Thanks to “hundreds of hours of work,” according to Lions Club vice president Steven Mayer, the campground has undergone major upgrades in recent months. More than a dozen volunteers joined in the process. Improvements were made for aesthetic and safety purposes, such as repairing the docks, cleaning up litter from the lake, adding new gravel and mulch to the ground, and installing a sign near the entrance with information about the history of Mineral.
Volunteers continue to go there too, with plans to add flowerbeds and other park-like elements.
With the start of fishing season, campsites were teeming with happy families on Saturday. The campsite will now remain open until the beginning of December.
For decades, the campground, which borders the scenic Mineral Lake, has been occupied year after year by the same campers rather than being open for reservations. Now, through the efforts of the Lions Club, Lions Den has an online reservation system where campers can choose their sites on a map. Sites start at $35 per night with six-person occupancy. Lakeside sites, sites with electricity and water and RV/trailer sites cost more.
Mayer recommended getting a few campsites for a family reunion or similar event.
Prior to the upgrades, Moore said people were selling campgrounds for thousands of dollars, even though the property was never theirs.
In their efforts to fix the space, Lions Club members have seen some opposition from these people, especially on social media.
“But the goal is: let’s make the city better. It is a non-profit association. We can help the city even more. It’s for everyone’s best. Businesses here, they benefit,” Moore said.
The area will also now be able to host events for local children and those staying at the campsite. Over the Easter weekend they held an Easter egg hunt.
“He feels good. Can we do more? Absolutely, and we’re trying and it’s going to keep piling up, but the time and work that’s been put into it – it’s been ‘stress, stress, push, push'” , said Mayer. “This is what has to happen for this city, for this campground and for our club. It really is. All this money is returned. There is a donor council. We are not paid to do this; everything goes in the community. We bought fire trucks. We put roofs on the fire station. We put sidewalks here. We donate to the food bank. That’s what it’s for.