June 24, 2014 6:58 pm

Town of Sylvan Lake hopes to bring back the beach

Many Albertans have warm summer memories of the sandy shores of Sylvan Lake, north of Calgary.

But one of the community’s key attractions has gone missing – the beach.

The town says it’s a natural phenomenon. The lake is fed by groundwater and in recent years water levels have risen to historic highs, leaving only a narrow strip of sand.

Town administrators now have a plan to rebuild the beach by moving sand from the lake’s bottom to the shoreline.

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“We’re a beach town without a beach,” says Ron Lebsack, Sylvan Lake’s Director of Community Services. “One of the options that we discussed of course is moving sand…  dredging sand up closer to the seawall to create more of that beach.  But of course there’s a lot of studies and a lot of information has to be determined.”

Scott Reynolds, who regularly went to the lake while he was growing up, thinks it’s a terrific idea.

“I think that would be very, very awesome. I remember when they used to have a beach before it was all cement.”

The town will launch a survey this summer to see how many residents support the project and how much they’d be willing to pay to cover the cost.

If the majority of people support the idea, it will then submit the plan to the provincial government for approval.

Alberta Parks says it would want to make sure the proposal meets environmental, recreational and aesthetic guidelines.

 

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