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Friday, 10 February 2017 10:05

Garnet Graham Park shoreline enhancement benefits beach users and environment

FEBRUARY 10, 2017 – A collaboration between the City of Kawartha Lakes, Kawartha Region Conservation Authority, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, local community groups and a local contractor will result in an $18,000 project at Garnet Graham Park in Fenelon Falls.

The Garnet Graham Park shoreline enhancement project will minimize the risk of injury for swimmers, stabilize the shoreline using natural techniques and enhance fish habitat in Cameron Lake while maintaining a safe and accessible park and beach area with a natural shoreline setting.

 “One of the most visual parts of the project will involve removing the three concrete piers that stretch into the water,” explained Kawartha Lakes Manager of Parks and Recreation Jenn Johnson. “Removing the piers will reduce what has become an attractive waterfowl congregation area, while reducing the risk of swimming injury from broken or slippery concrete.”

Kawartha Conservation aquatic biologist Brett Tregunno noted removing the concrete piers while stabilizing the shoreline will also improve overall water quality in the lake.

“Improving shoreline stability through planting native shrubs and plants will help the long-term stability of the shoreline while reducing soil erosion,” said Mr. Tregunno. “The strategic placement of natural near shore in-water structures will also enhance fish habitat,” Mr. Tregunno added.

Kawartha Lakes Ward 6 Councillor Doug Elmslie echoed the Ms. Johnson’s remarks.

“The removal of the sinking concrete will remove a trip and fall hazard from this location,” said Coun. Elmslie. “It will also remove a point of congregation for the Canada Geese, which will in turn improve water quality and result in less water quality postings by the Health Unit.”

Coun. Elmslie said there is currently a group of volunteers who clean Garnet Graham Park of geese feces during summer months, but the biggest challenge has been cleaning the three cement piers.

“This project will make the entire park area look much nicer and cleaner,” he added.

As part of the project, shrubs will be planted along the shoreline to increase soil stability while maintaining open views of Cameron Lake. Gravel and stone, which makes up the base of the concrete pillars, will also be re-used, where possible, in the water near the shore in strategic locations to enhance fish habitat.

“We’re excited to work with these group of partners to deliver what we all agree will be an important and beneficial enhancement project for the park,” said Ms. Johnson.
Work on the project is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks with the removal of the concrete piers while the lake is frozen with the additional shoreline enhancement measures being implemented later this spring.