Lake Allyn M. Herrick reopened for recreational boating on Wednesday, October 17, 2018!
Recreational opportunities are available throughout Oconee Forest Park and the adjacent Rec Sports Complex. Lake Herrick currently supports birdwatching and fishing. In the fall of 2018, Lake Herrick is planned to also include a dock for carry-in, non-motorized boats such as canoes, kayaks and paddleboards; expanded walking trails; and a lakeside lawn for passive recreation.
Lake Herrick is a prominent feature within Oconee Forest Park, which serves as a living laboratory for research in the natural and social sciences. UGA faculty and students conduct research on hydrology, dendrology, water quality, aquatic ecosystems, visitor attitudes and behaviors, and more.
Lake Herrick and Oconee Forest Park function as an interdisciplinary outdoor classroom providing unique opportunities for faculty and students in visual arts, communication studies, ecology, engineering, forestry and natural resources, landscape architecture, and more.
Oconee Forest Park and the Rec Sports Complex are open to the public. Revitalization of Lake Herrick and surrounding areas will create new opportunities for healthy activity and community engagement, including a pavilion and lakeside lawn for community events.
Lake Herrick Watershed Restoration Activities
Private support is playing a critical role in advancing the watershed cleanup and lakefront renovation. The Southern Company Charitable Foundation has donated $400,000 to support the project, and the Riverview Foundation also has generously contributed funding toward this effort. The Office of the President — as the lead campus partner on the project — has allocated $250,000 in private resources, as well as additional financial and staff resources from the University of Georgia, including ongoing operational support from Facilities Management Division, Recreational Sports, and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.
Brief History of Lake Herrick
Named for Allyn M. Herrick, former Dean of the School of Forest Resources, Lake Herrick was commissioned by the School in 1982 as a recreational resource for Athens and UGA. The area was popular for swimming, fishing, and boating. Campus and community events were held in the pavilion, and the Department of Recreational Sports staffed lifeguards and concession vendors. After 20 years of use, Lake Herrick was closed to swimming and boating in 2002 but remained open for fishing.
An interdisciplinary team of students, faculty, staff and community members – led by the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Odum School of Ecology River Basin Center, and the Office of Sustainability - helped develop plans to enhance Lake Herrick as a public amenity within Oconee Forest Park and provide a respite amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.