Maple Ridge’s long-term vision for Whonnock Lake moved into sharper focus as city hall announced Thursday that it has purchased a piece of waterfront property for $2 million.
The deal, for 33 acres, is part of a strategic plan to acquire all properties on the lake’s shoreline.
The city’s long-term goal is to protect the lake ecosystem and foreshore, and potentially develop a trail network around it.
The land just purchased was privately owned, and is located at 27610 Dewdney Trunk Rd.
There is just one property left to purchase before the city owns all the waterfront lots, said director of parks and facilities David Boag.
The city has waited for property owners to sell voluntarily, but after the last acquisition, council could begin a public consultation process and identify funding sources to construct the trail around the lake.
“It would be a super addition to our trail network,” said Boag.
Councillors have long discussed the site’s potential as an outdoor playground.
Boag estimated that a trail around the perimeter of the lake would be a distance of approximately 3.3 km.
Last summer, a lot of work was done to upgrade the popular summer spot, at a cost of $1.6 million.
“In the coming weeks, we will be having a ceremony to celebrate the completion of upgrades to Whonnock Lake that were done last year,” said Mayor Nicole Read.
“Improvements to the parking, landscaping, family picnic areas and the playgrounds have brought new life to this magnificent park.
“This purchase furthers our long-term goals of preserving the entire lake ecosystem and developing a trail network to promote exploration, environmental education and active lifestyles,” she added.
“This is an investment for our future.”