Open house set for Gull Lake recreation plan

A new boat launch, walking trails and day-use area have been proposed for the east side of Gull Lake near Wilson’s Beach. Lacombe County is taking its plans to provide more recreational opportunities in the area to the public for comment at an open house at the county offices on March 21.

A new boat launch, walking trails and day-use area have been proposed for the east side of Gull Lake near Wilson’s Beach.

Lacombe County is taking its plans to provide more recreational opportunities in the area to the public for comment at an open house at the county offices on March 21.

Known as Anderson Park, the 21-acre site is expected to be developed in phases over coming years by the county. A consultant was hired last year to provide a number of options ranging from modest recreational features such as trails to more elaborate and expensive amenities like campgrounds.

Dale Freitag, the county’s manager of planning services, said three options were taken to the public for feedback last year. Those comments were used to develop two options that county council reviewed earlier this month.

“One of the things we heard loudly and clearly was no campsites,” said Freitag. “So those were all removed from the options.

“It’s been stripped down to basically day-use areas, parking, bathrooms, a beach area and volleyball court.”

Trails and a ball diamond are also envisioned in the $3.2-million plan. Depending on public comments, council may opt to tweak the plans to address community views.

If approved, the area would be developed in phases over the next few years. A boat launch and parking areas are part of the first phase.

No money has been budgeted this year so the soonest work could begin is next year, he said.

“Basically the intent is to get the plan done this year. And as we start getting developments on stream in the area, we’ll look at starting to build the park to accommodate them,” he said.

A boat launch is high on the county’s wish list because of overcrowding and inadequate parking at existing launches.

The area is expected to see more activity in coming years as developments get underway. Just to the east, an 88-lot subdivision called Wilson’s Beach Estates is to be developed on 134 acres.

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