Sylvan Lake park transfer could benefit the economy

Sylvan Lake Provincial Park is a destination for many families, from Alberta and beyond.

Sylvan Lake Provincial Park is a destination for many families, from Alberta and beyond.

And no wonder, it stands out like a blue gem in our prairie landscape.

Currently, Sylvan Lake is under the Provincial Parks Act. Though the Provincial Parks Act has its benefits, the act also limits Sylvan Lake Town Council from implementing its Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan.

In times past, the Province and the Town have talked about a transfer agreement. And indeed, Sylvan Lake has requested control from the Province of our popular urban park to better allow the Town to promote the area and to license and manage waterfront business activity.

In fact, the transfer of Sylvan Lake Provincial Park to the Town of Sylvan Lake could provide a significant economic boost for the community.

It would also be a step to paving the way for Town Council to begin moving on the ideas and plans that have been long discussed.

The proposed transfer would require the park to remain open for public recreation purposes only. No commercial or residential development would be allowed.

The authorization and management of special events, advancement of tourism and economic development objectives and promotion of our beautiful town to the world at large are all great things for our economy.

As it stands, the Province does not generate any revenue from the park because it’s a day-use area only. So it makes sense to turn it over and let it accrue some revenue for the local community.

If the transfer goes ahead, future maintenance funding for the park would be redirected to other provincial parks. A win-win if you ask me.

For all interested parties, a 60-day public feedback period will take place before a final decision is made.

You are invited to comment on the proposal at AlbertaParks.ca/consult. Following the 60-day public feedback period, comments will be summarized to inform a final decision.

It’s my sincere hope that the Town of Sylvan Lake be granted this transfer agreement as soon as is possible, allowing for more economic growth to be fostered in the area. Sylvan Lake Park will be just as desirable and affordable for families far and wide, for generations to come.

Don MacIntyre, MLA

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake

#2, 160 Hewlett Park Landing

Sylvan Lake, AB, T4S 2J3

E. Innisfail.sylvanlake@assembly.ab.ca

P. 403-887-9575