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The Local Lens: Roundabout Clean Up

June 1, 2022 | Linda Offerdahl

A big shoutout to Incline Property Management (IPM) owner Larry Wodarksi and the 4-person crew that spent 5 hours (20 manhours) cleaning up the roundabout over Memorial Day weekend. They picked up trash, weeded, and did other gardening work to make the existing plants flourish. Look for the flowering yarrow and purple salvia. They have additional work to do on the islands. For years, the roundabout was cleaned up by individuals, the Rotary Clubs, and the Good Neighbors committee (Incline Village Realtors). But the roundabout needed professional attention, which it is now getting thanks to IPM’s donation of time and talent. 


Approximately 10 years ago, Jim Clark, Don Kanare, Jim Nowling, and Lee Weber Koch, among others began laying the groundwork for a traffic circle to mitigate the problems at the intersection of the Mt. Rose Highway and Highway 28.  With much community input, and work with Washoe County, TRPA, and NDOT, the mission was accomplished. However, NDOT did not budget for public art. Thus, was born the Roundabout Public Art committee. The theme of local fauna and wildlife was established, and local artist June Brown was engaged. Funds were raised by people wishing to honor loved ones and beloved pets with a bronze sculpture. June donated her design time (valued at $250,000) and the funds raised went for the bronze casting in her foundry in Utah. The bear, who holds a salmon in its mouth, greets visitors arriving from Reno. The bear was purchased by longtime resident Jerry Stewart in honor of his wife Lois. Some people think it’s unfortunate that its backside faces California. Some people think it was planned that way. You decide. The mule deer has probably received the most fame because it has been hit by a car…and had to be replaced by the foundry. Vandals have discovered just how durably those sculptures were made. Look carefully to find the coyote, squirrels, and birds. Once dubbed Spumoni Circle by Don Kanare in honor of his cat (the bobcat), the roundabout is the Gateway to Lake Tahoe from Reno. 


Native flowering plants and bushes were selected to enhance the beauty of the sculptures. For a few weeks in June, these native plants are blooming and enjoying enough water. However, irrigation was never installed, limiting the plants that could be established. IVCBA agreed to accept responsibility for the maintenance and improvement of the roundabout. A beautification committee has been formed and will research options for water, as well as consider how the original design can be improved to enhance this Gateway to Tahoe, particularly its East Shore. 


Join Environmental Improvement Program (EIP) partners for a preview of projects happening near you. Learn about the Marlette Creek Restoration Project, forest health initiatives, next steps for Spooner and Sand Harbor, and more, plus how to stay engaged in all these initiatives. The meeting takes place on Thursday, June 2 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Zoom. Register today.


Some of you may remember the wonderful annual event, Wine on the Water at the Hyatt, which supported the Boys and Girls Club. They pivoted to smaller winemaker dinners that are going on this week. Unfortunately, they are sold out. But you can still donate to them by supporting the silent auction! The clubhouse in Incline Village is known as the Duffield Youth Center and is in Incline Elementary School. The headquarters and theatre are in Kings Beach. They do a phenomenal job of providing after-school enrichment programs for kids. Please support them!

About the Author Linda Offerdahl

Linda Offerdahl, IVCBA’s Executive Director, is a 34-year resident of Incline Village. After careers in education and computer product management, she and her husband Richard moved to Incline Village to raise a family and support the community and its endless recreational and business assets. 

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