August 2, 2012

CANDISC turns 20

CANDISC turns 20

By CHERYL ODDEN

Twenty years ago, Fort Stevenson State Park was a mere shadow of what it is today. The U.S. economy and the local farm economy were in a slump and so was the park. Making the situation even more grim was the water – or lack thereof– in Lake Sakakawea. Hampered by a low lake level, the park’s greatest appeal was a local recreation spot for area fishermen and campers.
That was about to change!
In 1992, Dick Messerly, an Iowa native, accepted the position of park manager. Though he'd never managed a park before, he was determined to make the park a tourist destination. Whatever he may have lacked in experience was offset by his can-do attitude.
It’s no accident that three annual events – Skydance Sakakawea, Fort Stevenson Military Days and the CANDISC bike tour – are celebrating their 20th year in 2012. All are staged at the state park. The first two, organized by local residents, received a hearty welcome from Messerly. The third event, CANDISC, was founded by Messerly as a way to bring people to North Dakota and to the Garrison area.
 


The Weather Network