Council supports cottage association’s Glamor Lake Park
By Sue Tiffin
Glamor Lake Park is a candidate for a makeover.
The site was identified for a shoreline restoration project by the Glamor Lake and Little Glamor Lake Associations, which were represented by Steve Cosentino in a delegation to Highlands East council on May 14.
“We have serious degradation there,” he said. “We’ve got trees that are aging out, they need to be taken out, replaced, we’ve got erosion issues in the elevated parking area where people are managing to go between the boulders with ATVs and snowmobiles, eroding the whole hillside, we’ve got issues with geese there, because they’ve got a clear line of sight because the natural vegetation has been removed, so we put together a plan.”
The Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners Association retained Glenside Ecological Services to assess shorelines, tree and trail management, parking and other issues and develop a shoreline and picnic area naturalization plan, at a cost of $5,000 paid for in part by CHA and in part by the lake associations.
Environmental consultant Paul Heaven of Glenside presented the plan to Highlands East council alongside Cosentino.
“In terms of the shoreline assessment, what we tried to do here is really look at the shore and work with the traffic, we don’t want to try to block traffic or stop the way things work,” said Heaven. “People go down to the beach to swim, that’s the way they’re going to go, and we’re not going to block that by putting up shrubbery and trees ... that doesn’t work.”
Eighteen compartments were identified in need of mitigation with prescriptions tailored to use by creating access points using stone steps for swimmers or standing stones in areas where fishing is popular and accommodating traffic rather than blocking it and enhancing buffers.
Ninety of the trees on the land were assessed, and 37 per cent were found to have major defects – cankers, crown die-back, spiral seams – with 21 being recommended for removal to maintain shade and enhance stand structure. Heaven stressed a safety and risk assessment had not been conducted.
Clearly defined trails were recommended, with a stabilized trail bed and surface water being diverted away from the trail, while ATV traffic can be deterred with placement of large stones. Natural barriers from deformed cull logs or large boulders were recommended to keep the parking area organized.
Cosentino estimated the project would cost $20,000 but said, “that’s retail,” suggesting that the number could come down with volunteer work and municipal help in the form of equipment and materials like boulders.
“We don’t have to do this project all at once, but if we want to at least protect this shoreline, say this fall, we need to apply for permits [from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry] now, and that falls on the municipality to do that because it’s municipal property,” said Cosentino.
He stressed that though it’s an initiative of the cottage associations, the project was intended to be good for everyone in the community.
“You know this property is pretty heavily used on weekends, and it’s not just by cottagers. If you go there on a Saturday or Sunday in the summertime and it’s local people that are down there. So this isn’t all about cottagers and the cottage association, this is for everybody.”
Cam McKenzie said he read through the plan in detail, and said the cost of the plan was well worth it.
“You took into consideration the present uses ... you want to maintain and in some cases you are going to enhance them,” he said. “There was really no negative impact on current uses and in some cases you’ve enhanced them.”
Cosentino said the project could showcase shoreline remediation.
Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall commended the plan and said he couldn’t see any downside to the project. He recommended supporting the plan in principle to get permit applications underway, making note the council wasn’t yet committing to in-kind or financial commitments.
Councillor Suzanne Partridge said staff might also be able to determine what could be done in-house.
Council unanimously supported the project, directing staff to apply for permits.