West lpperwash Beach is on its way to looking better and being better for its patrons and the surrounding environment.
Officials with the West Ipperwash Homeowners’ Association and the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation appeared before Lambton Shores council recently to discuss the beach
“As neighbours, our two organizations share one of Canada’s most beautiful and pristine beaches,” read a proposal they submitted to councillors.
“Together we see it as our duty and responsibility to protect this valuable resource for both our families and the public at large:’ The groups outlined a number of concerns in relation to the beach, including speed limits, alcohol usage, uncontrolled boat launching, dogs off leash, horses on the property, public on the beach after 11 p.m., lack of enforcement, lack of signage, and, perhaps most notably, the lack of regularly scheduled beach maintenance and garbage cans
“We realize it is unrealistic to address all of the above at one time,” they said, and proposed that changes come in two phases.
The first phase, which they hoped would be completed this summer, includes the installation of additional signage and some cleanup and maintenance efforts, including removal of black wood sludge as required, the purchase of garbage containers, and the scheduling .of regular beach grooming.
They asked that the municipality commit to some funding for phase one.
The second proposed phase has a completion date of July 1, and it sees requests for no parking signs being installed along certain roads and access points and the installation of posts to control the flow of vehicles at entrances.
It also suggested a $10 daily parking fee for visitors – but not for cottagers and Kettle and Stony Point members, for whom liability insurance would be purchased.
Councillors weren’t ready to commit to particulars, asking for more information about the two groups’ expectations of the municipality concerning their proposal. Council also asked that the First Nation designate members of band council to participate in a committee with Lambton Shores representatives to tackle the issues.
Band Chief Tom Bressette could not be reached for comment by press time.