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An Ugly Duckling turns into a Swan

Lake Forest bulkhead removal: An Ugly Duckling Shoreline turns into a Swan.


For years, the Lake Forest shore front along Long Lake has looked like a concrete batch plant, with three 60' splotchy concrete retaining walls and an 80 ' bulkhead along our shoreline. We were easily the worst-looking shoreline around the Lake.

Then, in 2018, we applied for permits to turn our shore front into a more natural-looking and functioning shoreline.

Permits from US Fish and Wildlife and Thurston County, with its consortium of partners, including the Department of Ecology, were over time approved and issued. SCJ Alliance engineered a design for a new, more natural shore front and in June 2023, we awarded a contract to Apex Landscaping Solutions.


Apex took the existing concrete walls and bulkhead down without discharging turbidity into the Lake. I was an Ecology Inspector for years before I retired a few years ago and I went down every day to oversee the construction operations at the lake. I saw a beach appear where the bulkhead had been for more than thirty years. Schools of small fish returned. I was amazed at the water’s clarity. It was like waking up from a dream.

Now we have granite rockery shaped around the shore like an amphitheater. Most of the granite boulders used for tiers double as seating and Juan, their rockery expert, put steps in five different places just from watching people use the shore front. Juan is an artist, he has an eye for balance and functionality and most of all, the beauty of seminary.


His partner, Anthony the construction lead, used a front loader like he was playing a video game, placing the boulders precisely as directed by Juan. He could place a boulder within an inch of the target site. He was so energetic, picking up, laying out and moving the granite boulders, huge amounts of bark, pea gravel and anything the site required. He was always so positive, so polite and fun to talk to. I loved meeting Anthony in the mornings to review is daily plan. He was the best. I'll miss him.

So, our once horrible shoreline is now like an amphitheater fit for a concert.

Thank you, Apex. And, thanks to the patience and efforts of Lake Forest Home Owner’s Association. Our ugly shore front has turned into the beauty of a glorious swan.


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