Gander exploring ecofriendly development ideas at Gander Lake

·2 min read

Great potential, and the area of Gander Lake known as Little Harbour, go hand-in-hand.

Accessible by a service road just west of Gander, the area is made up of a trio of small alcoves and rocky beaches. One of those alcoves is home to a pair of permanent wharves and there is a small boat launch.

A popular spot in the summer for recreational boaters and people looking to picnic or get closer to nature.

And, the Town of Gander would like to better take advantage of the potential Little Harbour exhibits. It would be considered during the 2021 budget process.

At a recent council meeting it was noted the town’s chief administrative officer, Dermot Chafe, would work to develop a comprehensive plan centred on the possibility of developing the area for recreation and tourism opportunities.

“The development department is doing its homework,” said Gander Mayor Percy Farwell.

Any plan to develop the area for recreation and tourism purposes would have to fall in line with provincial regulations as Gander Lake serves as the town’s water supply.

The town is already conducting a review of the lake’s watershed management regime and the provincial regulations in hopes of identifying those eco-friendly developments along the shoreline.

“There are opportunities that are non-impactful on the lake,” said Farwell.

One of those non-impactful activities could be paddle-based, including kayaking, rafting and canoeing, amongst other similar activities.

All of which are eco-friendly.

For Geoff Orendorff, an adventure guide with Rafting NL in central Newfoundland, opening up that part of the lake to more recreational opportunities means getting more crafts in the water.

It would open up a new area to explore and give outdoor adventurers another outlet.

“If this development is going in that direction, we’d be in support of it,” said Orendorff.

The plan the town would like to see developed would include conceptual renderings of what development could look like in terms of amenities.

It would look at the shoreline from the Silent Witness Memorial to Little Harbour and see if there is anything that could be done. Cost estimates of such a project would be included in the exploratory plan.

Gander sees the lakefront as a resource it can use responsibly and could benefit citizens of the town and the people of the region.

“It is the recognition for controlled development,” said Farwell. “It doesn’t mean we’re advocating a free-for-all.

“We think there is a balance to be struck.”

Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice