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Committee moves forward with boardwalk vision statement

Masha Scheele

The Beaver Boardwalk Committee (BeBo Committee) presented its vision to council for discussion at the standing committee meeting on Sept. 10.

The vision read, “The Beaver Boardwalk is a beloved community asset that balances a fiscally responsible, safe, outdoor recreational and educational experience with minimal impact to the natural landscape.”

This is meant to be a success statement and is intended to describe the project when completed.

Mayor Marcel Michaels explained that the term ‘fiscally responsible’ is used to ensure that all avenues in this project are examined and they are conscious of what is spent on the boardwalk.

“Knowing that it is a tourist destination for a lot of people and it’s growing, we want to make sure within this vision we know that we are making a conscious effort to not extend it too much, we’re not making the footprint too big,” he said.

He also noted the word ‘beloved’ was used to communicate that this community asset is something to be respected and to acknowledge that members of the community have put a lot of effort into it. Education is currently a big part of the boardwalk, but Michaels cautioned against misleading future conversations.

“We want to acknowledge that it’s useful today for education but maybe not putting $300,000 into it to make it more educational,” he said.

Michaels added that safety is a concept that’s open to interpretation, whether it’s zero liability or minimal safety features.

The impact to the natural landscape was also important to the BeBo committee.

“The Beaver Boardwalk committee recognizes that the area in and around Maxwell Lake is a unique ecological area and it needs protection,” said Coun. Albert Ostashek.

Going forward, the vision will be referenced continuously during the project process, committee meetings, and in relation to the recommendations to council for approval.

“Council accepting and endorsing a vision, gives the Beaver Boardwalk a dartboard, a road map, to move forward on any time a decision comes forward for recommendation to council,” added Ostashek.

The Beaver Boardwalk Committee has met twice since being created.

The next step according to committee’s Terms of Reference was to present the vision to Council for discussion and adoption prior to the BeBo Committee’s third meeting.

The BeBo Committee meetings are open to the public.