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Glenhaven & Clearlake Oaks

oaksThe small towns of Clearlake Oaks and Glenhaven are the “gateway” to Clear Lake — the first lakeside communities seen by travelers heading west on State Highway 20.

“The Oaks” downtown area features Nylander Park and The Plaza. Clearlake Oaks Beach and Boat Launch are just a short walk away. Visitors enjoy wine tasting at Brassfield Estate, located in High Valley. A short drive east on Highway 20 are Noggle and Cache Creek Vineyards & Winery

A hotspot for community volunteerism, Oaks residents and businesses consistently pitch in with donations of money, time, and materials for local projects.

The most recent effort is at Clarks Island, located next to the Tower Mart on Highway 20. Clarks Island is accessed via a small footbridge. The Clarks Island volunteer effort focuses on ecotourism and the environment. Components include natural earth building, a kayak launch, and indigenous plantings.

A unique element includes a demonstration area of “biohaven floating islands” that are made from recycled plastic bottles and designed to mimic natural wetlands. Community members and businesses raised money to purchase the first floating island, which was planted with rescued cattails. Future plans include a “living” bioswale pathway and a series of additional islands aimed at tule restoration, wildlife habitat, and algae reduction. Interpretive signage will educate the public on the Clear Lake watershed.

Volunteers pitched in to build an adobe entryway kiosk and bench using simple Natural Building techniques and local clay. Future plans include a large shade gazebo, designed by architectural students from the University of San Francisco.

Clarks Island also is a stopping point for the Rattlesnake Island Water Trail, the first in a series of eight kayaking trails which highlight unique aspects of the geology, culture and wildlife of Lake County, allowing paddlers to enjoy beautiful scenery while learning about the environment (see more, page 8). See more about the Clarks Island project at www.KonoctiTrails.com/Clarks-Island.

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