Whonnock Lake gets long-delayed reno

$1.6M project at Maple Ridge lake will help vehicles and pedestrians

Whonnock Lake Park draws people from within and outside Maple Ridge.

Whonnock Lake Park draws people from within and outside Maple Ridge.

Maple Ridge council got bogged down in the details of the long-planned Whonnock Lake Park reno plans Monday, worrying over the $1.6-million cost.

But staff have the OK to start rolling out the long-awaited upgrade plan for the heavily used park on 112th Avenue in east Maple Ridge.

Although the plan was written in 2000, implementation was delayed in the hope that matching grants from senior governments could be used to help the Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club build a new boat house and community centre.

Those haven’t materialized so parks and leisure services is starting the park upgrade this summer, part of a multi-year process.

“There’s really a desire to improve the circulation of vehicles and pedestrians through that area,” Bruce McLeod, manager of parks and planning, said later.

A first step will be to build a bypass road that will divert motorists who are using the park from the Whonnock Lake Centre parking lot to the parking area used for picnickers and boaters. A boat launch area and pier is also part of the first phase.

The second phase will see expansion of the Whonnock Lake Centre parking lot itself, to make it easier for people to get to and from the community centre.

The third phase involves building trails through the park to allow people to walk without having to cross the parking lots or roads. Pedestrian lighting will make it easier to get around the dark park and the rainforest.

A new gravel parking lot was the fourth phase of the reno plan to accommodate the new boathouse planned by Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club. The boathouse project however has been reduced in scale.

Part of that phase included revegetating camping areas to restore some seclusion for the sites.

The last phase, phase five, involves building a caretaker residence with public washrooms and a concession area. That’s the priciest part of the reno plan at $624,220. Currently, the park’s caretakers live in a mobile home and retire soon.

Proposed as part of the upgrades are three electric barbecues or hotplates to serve as communal stoves for cooking lunch or dinner.

That would spare people having to lug their own barbecues to the beach and having to dispose of hot barbecue coals.

They’re used in Richmond and Australia, McLeod added later.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity where you have a concern for forest fires,” he explained. They’re also good community gathering places.

Coun. Bob Masse wondered if the district was overloading use of the park and the shallow lake and asked about coliform levels in the water. The water is regularly tested but warning signs were only posted in one instance last year, said parks director David Boag.

Whonnock Lake Park has the potential to become a regional attraction. “We should capitalize on that, why not?” added Coun. Al Hogarth.

The District of Maple Ridge has bought all but one property around the lake so a trail can circumnavigate the water.

 

 

Just Posted

CubicFarms have announced the addition of Janet Wood to its board of directors. (Special to The News)
Pitt Meadows/ Langley grow tech business names new member to board of directors

Janet Wood will join the agricultural firm after a brief stint as pres and CEO of Science World

Pitt Meadows residents can take part in a free online emergency preparedness presentation on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Sign up in advance. (Pitt Meadows graphic)
Pitt Meadows presentation helps residents prep for emergencies

People can sign up in advance for the Tuesday event

Pitt Meadows fire chief Mike Larsson said a quick-thinking neighbour helped keep a utility trailer fire from causing serious damage to a residence (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News file)
Neighbour with garden hose helped save Pitt Meadows home

Helped to prevent fire in trailer from spreading to nearby house

Kanaka Creek Regional Park. (Metro Vancouver/Special to The News)
Visiting parks is good for your health, says UBC study

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows many parks provide opportunities

A 49-year-old man from Coquitlam died after he was hit by a dump truck near Airport Way and Harris Road on Saturday, May 15. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services)
VIDEO: Pedestrian dies after being hit by dump truck in Pitt Meadows Saturday afternoon

Man was walking his bicycle across the road near Airport Way and Harris Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

B.C. Wildfire Services shows a fire on Chehalis Forest Service Road as of Sunday, May 16, 2021. (BC Fire Services)
Wildfire near Harrison Mills grows to 3 hectares, BC Fire Service on site

Resident near wildfire: ‘I pray that the Creator brings rain as soon as possible’

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Most Read