Possibilities at Pritchard beach

Pritchard beach and bridge in winter.

Pritchard beach and bridge in winter.

PRITCHARD — There could be some changes for the better at the Pritchard Bridge beach this coming fall.

Last September, Pritchard village resident Ivan Findrik gave me a call and asked me to come and take a look at the beach on the north side of the bridge. I’d been there several times before and it’s always impressed me as one of the prettiest spots in our area.

I’d heard from residents previously, concerned about cleanup and sanitation, but Ivan got me focused on the fall fishing season.

What Ivan wanted me to see was how many campers, trailers and boats were at the beach. As he pointed out, there are no toilet facilities or garbage cans there, and the entry area was rutted and pot-holed. There’s no dock or boat launch.

Aside from all the boats and campers, people were enjoying a stroll up the beach with their dogs, a nice mix of visitors and Pritchard residents.

It’s not officially a park, and no one has taken responsibility for managing it like one, but I said I’d see what I could do.

Since then, the TNRD has been working on an answer, talking with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Forests, Lands and Natural Resources and Ministry of Environment to look at possibilities.

What might make sense is a pilot project focused on the fall fishing season when the beach is especially busy. Who would pay for it? That’s still being discussed. Maybe a service club would be interested, as I understand the idea has been broached in the past.

I know the activity at the beach has been an issue for several years, but it’s worth another look and I’m optimistic it could lead to something. If we can get a plan roughed out, I’d want to see it go to the neighbourhood for input before anything is done, because things like access, traffic and noise have to be considered, and there’s always the possibility that servicing the site would make it even more popular.

I’ll keep you informed as things develop. If anyone has any thoughts on this issue, please call me at 250-314-7541 or email me at director.mrothenburger@tnrd.ca, or leave a comment here.

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