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12:14 AM Wed, Dec. 12th

Davis Camp Park 10-year master plan approved

KINGMAN – The 10-year master plan for Davis Camp Park was approved Monday by Mohave County supervisors to improve recreational offerings and bring in more money that can be used to spruce up community parks, a county official said.

Hal Barton, parks administrator for Mohave County, said the current master plan for Davis Camp Park is out of date and needs to reflect trends in recreational activities such as hiking, camping and fishing.

The park is located on the Colorado River near Pyramid Canyon, about a mile south of Davis Dam. It’s on federally leased land operated by Mohave County under a special use permit.

The updated master plan is needed to remain competitive for outside funding for park improvements from the Bureau of Reclamation and National Park Service, Barton said. It sets guidelines and recommendations for continued improvements for the park’s development, operations and maintenance.

The history of Davis Camp Park dates back to the late 1940s, and the deteriorating infrastructure is now putting a strain on the maintenance repair budget, Barton said. According to an analysis by Public Works engineers, the budget for Davis Camp Park’s water infrastructure renovations will approach seven figures.

Along with aging infrastructure, Davis Camp Park has witnessed annual increases in park visitation, largely due to out-of-state visitors, which has taken its toll on restrooms, overnight camp sites, trail conditions, demands on staff and traffic congestion, Barton noted.

The new master plan focuses on six development areas: Park Central, North Beach, South Beach, The Island, Davis Camp East and the park entry.

Barton said improvements would start in 2020 with Park Central, which is the heart of the park. The plan calls for a new community center, dog park, updated playground with a splash pad, pickleball, tennis and basketball courts, family recreation areas and a small amphitheater.

North Beach would be designed for overnight guests with camping sites cabin rentals and a private beach.

South Beach would remain largely unchanged except for a new administration and operations yard and motorized watercraft rental area.

The Island would be a “passive” recreational open space with riverfront beaches, volleyball on the sand and heritage trail spur.

The park entry off Highway 68 will be updated with landscaping and monument sign, a new visitor center with park history, food truck and concessions area.

Supervisor Jean Bishop found the Davis Camp Park master plan to be “exciting,” but didn’t hear anything about community parks.

“Because right now, they’re looking a little bleak,” she said.

Barton said he’s in the process of developing a master plan for Hualapai Mountain Park and all community parks. He noted that county parks are funded entirely by user fees and receive no tax money.

“Let’s remember the biggest challenge Mohave County Parks is confronted with is funding for community parks,” Barton said. “In order to fund community parks, we need to ensure that our primary revenue generator is taken care of, which will allow us to have money for future improvements to community parks.”