No new lake for Aldergrove

A water feature to replace Aldergrove Lake is unlikely.

The lake in Aldergrove Lake Park, one of the community’s most popular summer attractions, dried up a year ago, and a water feature to replace it is unlikely, Councillor Bob Long advised council April 16.

Long, who represents the Township on the Metro Vancouver environment and parks committee, said that  the committee will receive a report on plans to replace the lake at its May 2 meeting.

“There is no question that the water feature is not going to be coming back,” Long commented, after being quizzed by Councillor Charlie Fox on options for the lake.

In March, 2011, Metro Vancouver parks board decided to drain the lake. The man-made facility, nestled in a forest clearing, had drawn families from all over Langley and Abbotsford for more than 50 years.

“I don’t think there is any turning back from the decision,” Long said.

“The pool cannot be upgraded and would need to be completely redesigned and rebuilt to meet current standards,” Metro Vancouver Parks committee chairman Gayle Martin said at the time.

Under B.C. Public Health Act regulations which came into effect in October, 2010, the lake at Aldergrove Lake Park met the definition of a public swimming pool and would have required an operating permit to re-open.

Metro Van was unable to obtain a permit.

The beach, picnic areas, trails and washrooms remain, and a report for the committee is expected to spell out plans for the area the lake occupied.

Metro Van held public meetings to give the public the opportunity to comment on the future of the 280 hectare Aldergrove Lake Regional Park.

Major stumbling blocks to building a similar facility are cost and the lack of water in the area. There is no municipal water in the vicinity; the water in the lake came from a well.

There was consternation in the community when it became clear that the facility was in jeopardy.

“Lots of families are concerned because they do view this as a summer daytime activity location,” Fox said at the time.

“It’s a place that families can go for free, have a picnic, enjoy the water-based activities . . . and really have a good day out relatively close to the community.”

The swimming facility at Aldergrove Lake closed permanently in early 2011.