Alberta Lake

Town in Alberta plans to dredge sand from the lake to reclaim popular beach

SYLVAN LAKE, Alta. – A central Alberta resort community is taking a bottom-up approach to restoring one of its key tourist attractions.

The town of Sylvan Lake, north of Calgary, plans to dredge sand from the bottom of the nearby lake of the same name to rebuild a long strip of beach that draws thousands of people each summer.

The proposal comes as record high lake levels in recent years have left only a narrow strip of sand along a cement seawall for sun-seekers to enjoy.

Ron Lebsack, the community’s director of community services, says Sylvan Lake is a beach town without a beach.

Area residents will be surveyed this summer to determine whether they would be willing to pay to cover the cost of the project.

Final approval for the dredging must come from the province, which says the work would have to meet environmental, recreational and aesthetic guidelines.