From: Sherry Lynn Gros, President, Highland Park Community Association Oct. 2019 – Present

August 2021 brought hurricane Ida and the collapse of the dam at Optimist Lake on Milkhouse Creek. All efforts to save it failed destroying contiguous wetlands and the lakeside community activities. Today Highland Park Community Association is working to save and restore our neighborhood parks that lay around the lake land. We believe if we restore the parks then, with proper management going forward, the community and the waterside resort will return.

Highland Park Community Association was Incorporated on April 24,1967 to manage Optimist Lake dam and area parks. The 25 acre lake is a reservoir of the Milkhouse Creek that flows from Zeigler Blvd into the Halls Mill Watershed to the Dog River Watershed, to Mobile Bay, and into the Gulf of Mexico. Optimist Lake Dam provides a buffer for downstream wetlands and a sediment pond for 1445 acres of local area underground drainage and stormwater runoff from the surrounding area. Highland Park owns two parks and three easements relating to the lake and dam. Highland Park Community Association run by its Board of Directors must maintain and use the park lands for its intended purpose or the property will revert to the State of Alabama.

Optimist Lake at Milkhouse Creek in Mobile Alabama , is a reservoir of the Milkhouse Creek System that converges with Halls Mill Creek watershed flows into the Dog River then to Mobile Bay and finally into the Gulf of Mexico.

For almost 100 years Optimist Lake provided a buffer zone for Federally protected wetlands. Since the collapse of the dam those wetlands are filling in with silt and pollutants from upstream. The waterfowl are gone. The lake is gone. In time the Greater Mobile area will realize the important role that Lake Optimist Dam served this community and will come to restore the area. In the meantime we are managing the parks, cleaning up dead wood, protecting the land from outsider takeover, and are working to get grants to restore the creek banks, the park, support local bird watching in the natural habitat, and building community gardening activities at the park. We ask that you support us in any way you are able.