Larry Bross wants people to see for themselves the transformation of Crystal Lake.
The executive director of City Care is proud of the makeover that his nonprofit organization has given the little lake just minutes from downtown Oklahoma City on SW 15.
So when the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation canceled its Wildlife Expo at the Lazy E Arena this year, Bross decided it would be a good opportunity to showcase Crystal Lake by holding its own mini-version of the event.
The Family Outdoor Expo will be Saturday at Crystal Lake featuring fishing clinics for kids, archery, fly casting, boat rides, Dutch oven demonstrations, camping seminars, kayaking, bow making, flint knapping and more.
“We just need people to see what's going on (at Crystal Lake) and that it's really a cool place for families to come out with their kids,” Bross said.
Anyone that visited Crystal Lake in the past might find that hard to believe. Before City Care (which provides assistance to the homeless and low-income families in Oklahoma City) took over operation of the lake, it was a dump. Literally. More than 2,200 tires alone and thousands of roof shingles were removed from Crystal Lake during a yearlong cleanup.
The old sand pit near SW 15th and MacArthur also was a place no reputable citizen wanted to be after sundown. But now the lake has a caretaker on site and no one is allowed in after dark. County work crews and other volunteers spent months mowing and removing debris from in and around the lake.