Modest improvements in the plans this year for provincial park

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Alberta Parks isn’t budging on how much of Devonshire Beach it will allow to be groomed. That came through loud and clear when a regional manager from Parks spoke to town council at its June 16 meeting.

Margot Hervieux updated council on a few small-scale improvements Parks has in mind for this season. They include more signs (some already up), and picnic tables for the North Shore day use area.

As for beach grooming, there’s a new machine for it, and as staff time and weather permit, it will get done.

Councillors always have plenty to say on the topic of groomed vs. ungroomed beach. It’s no secret some of them would like more grooming, but Parks is firm on that. Even when the proposal has a certain mathematical logic, which is what came from councillor Darin Busk.

Busk noted that with the lake so high, the actual area of groomed beach is a lot less than in normal years. Could that lost area be added to the length of the groomed area?

“Nope,” said Hervieux, adding that the department is firm on that topic.
“Every year’s going to be different,” she said. “It (the water) goes up and down.”

What’s currently allowed is a total of 800 metres of groomed beach. This is split into two sections – one at the south end of the beach and one near the handicapped access ramp further north. Hervieux said there is the possibility of changing how much is groomed at either location. If people would like more at one site than another, Parks would like to hear about it.

Councillor Brice Ferguson inquired about the possibility of fire pits being added at the beach. It’s possible, said Hervieux, but it would present challenges in enforcement.

Busk asked about road maintenance. The big holes has been filled, Hervieux said, and “I think we’ve had the grader over it once.”

Some directional signs have gone up, which are intended to make it easier for visitors unfamiliar with the area to find certain features of the park.

Some people like driftwood, but this might be a bit too much of a good thing. In fact the clean-up process had begun when The Leader visited the handicap access area of Devonshire Beach last week.
Looking in the other direction from the same spot.

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