Here is an essay written by Forrest W. Coffman of University South Alabama giving a brief description of Lake Optimist. It was written in the early 2000s and contains valuable historical data although some updates need to be done. We are currently working on an updated Environmental Assessment and Lake Management Plan for Lake Optimist.

Milkhouse Creek_Optimist Lake

Lake Optimist Watershed. Lake Optimist is an integral part of Milkhouse Creek and the Dog River Watershed. It is fed by underground springs, rainwater, Milkhouse Creek from the north, and the watershed which is highlighted in blue on the map. The watershed covers an area of 1,445 acres or 2.25 square miles. The water that comes into our lake from the surrounding 1,445 acres of watershed directly affects the quality of water at Lake Optimist. The better the quality of water the healthier the surrounding ecological system and the healthier our property values. One of the goals of Highland Park Community Association is to keep the waters of Lake Optimist clean to “…maintain the lake in good condition…” and to keep it “reasonably free from pollution and debris or obstructions.” This mission is mandated in the deed from Carl Swanstrom to HPCA in 1967. Testing the waters for ecoli is one way of honoring this deed and providing for reasonable maintenance promoting general public health and safety. Working together for a clean Lake Optimist is a win-win-cannot-lose proposition that benefits homeowners property values, surrounding stakeholders health, and the Dog River Watershed ecosystem. Please donate to the cause and thank you for your support.

Reference Links:

Mobile Baykeeper

Mobile Bay National Estuary Program

Dog River Watershed Management Plan


Lake Optimist , is solely owned by Highland Park Community Association, Inc. In 1967 Carl Swanstrom deeded Optimist Lake, its submerged lands, the dam and spillway along with other property to Highland Park Community Association. Reference: Real Prop 764 Page 760