KITCHENER -- There's a transformation underway at one of the region's most popular parks.

Work crews have been busy at Silver Lake in Waterloo Park.

The work began late this summer, but plans started four years ago with an environmental assessment.

The city dredged up the lake back in 1997. Officials are hoping the work they're doing now will avoid having to clean it up in the future.

Dan Younger and Mary Ann Pedlar walk through Waterloo Park almost every day.

"I like to do that just for my own exercise," Younger said.

He said the construction at Silver Lake is a distraction.

"I hope the end product is good," he said.

Crews with the City of Waterloo are reconfiguring the lake's edge to remove built-up material.

"If you visited here prior to now, you would've noticed a lot of the sediment level was really above the water level," storm water engineer Jessica Kellerman said.

The city had to remove some trees and vegetation in order to build a retaining wall.

"You can't have root systems impacting that because it can actually undermine the wall that you're trying to put in," Kellerman said.

Some park patrons don't like the change, but city officials said there are plans to replant.

"The whole vision for this space does include a lot of grasses and perennial planting," Kellerman said.

There are new features coming to Waterloo Park as well.

"A new pedestrian bridge going over near the mill and there will be a boardwalk going over on the opposite side of the lake," Kellerman said.

The price tag for the cleanup is $4.9 million. The city expects to have the project complete by early next year.