By Laura Haefeli

FAIRFIELD (CBS13) –  A natural lake in Rockville Hills Regional Park is drying up, forcing park officials to get creative if they want wildlife to stick around through the summer months.

Nearly half a century ago, this lake in Rockville Hills Regional Park dried up.

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“The lake it’s not so much of a lake,” said Angel Sanchez, an avid mountain biker who notices the lake’s gone back in time.

“It’s very dry I’ll tell you that,” he said.

So our CBS13 crew hiked into the park to see for ourselves.

A mile and a half in, we saw the same thing — an empty lake fenced off and surrounded by brown grass and dry hills

“It’s the driest year since 1976-77,” said Jay Lund, a professor of environmental engineering at UC Davis.

“This dry year comes on top of last year, which was also dry which is making things worse,” said Lund.

The city of Fairfield tells CBS13 the lake is natural and relies solely on rainwater and runoff to fill up.

“They might not have infrastructure pipelines that can take water to that lake,” said Lund.

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This means that without a wet season and substantial rain there won’t be a lake.

If there’s no water how will wildlife survive in the park?

“Some of the native wildlife will have the ability to live through droughts,” said Lund.

But what about the animals that can’t?

“You might find the park officials will put some basins of water out as a substitute watering hole,” he said.

The city of Fairfield has provided park wildlife with guzzlers -a small box with a ramp that can hold about eight gallons of water for animals big and small to drink from.

“We have some liking for wildlife. We are going to have to find ways to help them stay around through droughts.”

Says Lund

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Park officials fenced off the lake in order to keep animals and humans from stepping on the mud where forms of wildlife may have homes. Officials ask visitors to be cautious around the lake.