John Reid
March 20, 2015

Since October 2014, John has been bringing people to the Grafton Lake Lands and discussing his ideas. This month he’s hosting weekly Saturday walks around the lake, and Sunday walks in the portions south of the lake. 

Most of the questions so far have been around access to the lands around the lake. Those that have spoken so far seem to want to have access to these lands. There are similarities here to Cape Roger Curtis where the community has been using the lands for hiking, swimming and fishing and, understandably, there is a desire to continue these uses.

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    Photo contributed by Bonnie Wilson

The idea of the “Nature Preserve” has been well received. It projects the right “tone” for the land and recognizes that it is a sensitive area that we should tread lightly on. It speaks to controlled access that respects that it is a community water supply.

The agricultural theme across the road from the lake has also been well received. Having a place to socialize as a community while growing things together excites people. Some ideas suggested have been community-supported agriculture, garden plots, demonstration gardens, farmers market, daycare, preschool, rental cottages, and a bed & breakfast/hostel.

Another comment that comes up over and over is that they never realized the size of the property, especially the amount of land across from the lake. Without having walked the land it is difficult to imagine what is possible. After walking the property they have a much better understanding how there is room for both the Nature Preserve and the development.

There also seems to be a desire generally to see more affordability; clustering smaller homes on smaller lots while maximizing green space around them seems to fit. There is also a desire to maintain a rural feel that fits with the agricultural theme and the properties’ location in the centre of the island.

The question did come up about looking for a conservation buyer to acquire the property. This is not the approach we are looking at, as we feel our proposal will meet both the conservation goals of the community and the other community needs – such as housing, an agricultural gathering place, and room for the wellness retreat economy to grow. That said, we are not in any way opposed to others who wish to pursue this and would consider any offers for the property as long as conservation was the primary goal.

Next week John will play devils advocate and attempt to answer the questions that have yet to be asked. Should make for an interesting interview between John and himself. If you have any questions you would like to add please send them along.