by Lucie Roy
Morinville News Correspondent

Heritage Lake, located on Highway 642 west of Morinville (across from the overpass) has been identified as a destination park for development within the Town of Morinville.

The Town is currently assessing the development needs of the community for this lake as it is used year round. They are implementing long-term goals and a vision for the area in a phased approach.

Implementation started this summer on the southwest portion of the Lake. Donald Fairweather, Town of Morinville Operations Manager, said work completed to date includes road repair and the installation of bollards, posts, benches, signs, and the planting of trees, grass, and other landscaping. Additionally, parking areas have been defined, and garbage bins and a boat launch have been installed.

The lake is designed for non-motorized boating. The boat launch is designed for people with kayaks or other small non–motorized boats.

“[It’s] basically when people drive onto the ice in the winter or if you want to offload a smaller boat,” Fairweather said. “We are trying to prevent any more erosion down towards the bank.”

Other plans for this year include a public toilet, horseshoe pits and to continue planting an avenue of maple trees from the very start of the parking lot towards the future parking lot at the midpoint of the lake.

The Town’s future plans is to put benches and some garbage bins between the trees in the future, spaced accordingly, every three of four trees. The benches would be away from the water’s edge as to not be too close to the fisherman and by the trees to get a bit of the shade.

Fairweather said the pathway is probably not going to be completed for another two or three years, but they are beginning the planning in advance. The Town will also try to improve the pathway, around to a new parking lot on the east side of the lake with space for approximately 24 vehicles.

The nearby activity area would have a gazebo, picnic tables, handicap seats, and fire pit so families can have a small area where they can sit and enjoy a bit of seclusion at the lake for fishing and family events. Long-term plans may include a soccer pitch, a beach and a swimming area at the lake.

Fairweather said he has already spoken with David Schaefer, Town of Morinville Director of Community & Protective Services, for an off-leash dog area.

“This massive area is away from any housing, away from any fishing area, and not going to affect anything,” Fairweather said, noting while dogs would be on leash in the park, there would be an area where the dogs could run around.

Fairweather said future development of the east side of the lake could include trees, benches, fire pits, horseshoe pits, and bollards, as well as adding docks, observation points in a few locations around the lake, along a walking path.

The Town has $100,000 allotted for parks each year. Of this year’s budget, $25,000 is going towards Heritage Lake.

The Town is exploring future development of Heritage Lake to allow for adequate work planning ahead of further development and in the hopes of an opportunity for matching grant funding.

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