The City of Vernon is preparing to revamp a section of shoreline in order to make Okanagan Lake more accessible for recreation.
The city is moving forward with a plan to restore the shoreline along Okanagan Lake, having issued a public tender March 3 to find a contractor. The tender invitation kicks off the next phase of the city’s 2018 Lake Access Plan, which involves conducting shoreline restoration at 8130 Tronson Road.
“The city has consistently heard that the public would like to see more access to Okanagan Lake,” reads the tender documents. “Given that much of Vernon’s lakeshore property is privately owned, Vernon’s lake accesses play an important role in connecting residents, drainage, and wildlife to Okanagan Lake.”
The project will involve re-contouring the shoreline to pre-flood conditions (repairing damage from a 2017 flood), installing a gabion retaining wall and rip-rap armouring to stabilize the slope, and removing a non-permitted concrete retaining wall that currently stands at the location.
Preliminary landscape drawings hint at what the shoreline could look like at the project’s end. The drawings include a waste and recycling receptacle, a bench and sitting area, a bike rack and a timber guard rail. Trees and shrubbery will be planted with a variety of species, including dogwood, black cottonwood and tall Oregon grape.
“Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure that existing trees to remain are protected during the entire construction sequence,” the report reads.
The project site is bounded by residential properties to the east and west and is currently used for parking and recreation, according to an environmental management plan by Ecoscape Environmental Consultants in 2019.
The environmental report identified Kokanee salmon as the main concern for development along the Okanagan Lake shoreline, but said the project is about 3.4-kilometres north from the closest Kokanee shore spawning areas.
The bidding period is open until March 30.