Westwood Lake Park Amenity Improvements

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At First Beach and the Westwood Road Park Entrance

The City of Nanaimo is seeking feedback on draft improvement ideas for the First Beach and Westwood Road entrance at Westwood Lake Park. Please review the improvement ideas and then take the survey.

DRAFT AMENITY IMPROVEMENT IDEAS

The initial draft improvement options focus on the area formerly occupied by the Caretaker House, as well as the main entrance off Westwood Road, first parking lot, and First Beach. Elements in the site plans are interchangeable and are ideas to see what the public would like to see.

The initial draft improvement

At First Beach and the Westwood Road Park Entrance

The City of Nanaimo is seeking feedback on draft improvement ideas for the First Beach and Westwood Road entrance at Westwood Lake Park. Please review the improvement ideas and then take the survey.

DRAFT AMENITY IMPROVEMENT IDEAS

The initial draft improvement options focus on the area formerly occupied by the Caretaker House, as well as the main entrance off Westwood Road, first parking lot, and First Beach. Elements in the site plans are interchangeable and are ideas to see what the public would like to see.

The initial draft improvement concepts include the following improvement ideas:

  • Expansion and new recreational improvements at First Beach
  • Improved universal access features, including washroom (new or renovated), trails, and beach and water access
  • Increased parking capacity, including additional accessible parking stalls
  • Improved traffic navigation, including improved entranceways and exits
  • Improved pedestrian circulation and safety improvements
  • Site furnishings that can be enjoyed by all users
  • Additional picnic and special event areas
  • New playground
  • Improved flow for boat launching
  • Improvements to trail navigation at entrance area, including 3m accessible trail network
  • Storm water management considerations to capture and filter storm water, including sustainable paving options to improve site ecology
  • Additional shade trees
  • Enhancement of natural areas through new plantings in excess of any removals and vegetation retention (a buffer between the park and the houses on Leighton Place will also be included)
  • Bike wash facility
  • Consideration for lifeguarding facilities and emergency access


SITE PLAN 1: FIRST IDEAS (see image below)

All of these park improvement ideas are interchangeable and are intended to spark discussion.

Key Features:

  • 75 additional standard parking stalls (134 in total)
  • 2 additional accessible parking stalls (6 in total)
  • 840 square metres of additional beach/picnic area
  • new playground
  • new 3 metre wide multi-use trail
  • renovated washroom/lifeguard station
  • non-motorized boat launch to remain
  • new emergency access
  • new trees to be planted in excess of trees removed
  • stormwater management feature to capture and filter rainwater
  • universally accessible features, including beach and water access that would be wheelchair accessible


  1. Existing accessible float
  2. Existing washroom/lifeguard station to be renovated and made universally accessible
  3. Existing vendor area and power kiosk
  4. New playground (design/equipment to be determined)
  5. Additional beach/picnic area
  6. Accessible parking stalls
  7. Asphalt or alternative hard surfacing drive aisle and parking area
  8. Vegetated swale
  9. Bike wash facility
  10. Multi-use trail
  11. Vegetated buffer
  12. Accessible beach access
  13. Boat launch

Please complete the survey to share which ideas you like and don't like.


SITE PLAN 2: MORE IDEAS (see image below)

All of these park improvement ideas are interchangeable and are intended to spark discussion.

Key Features:

  • 55 additional standard parking stalls (114 in total)
  • 2 additional accessible parking stalls (6 in total)
  • gravel parking stalls reduce impervious area
  • 840 square metres of additional beach area
  • new accessible washroom/lifeguard station
  • new picnic area
  • new 3 metre wide multi-use trail
  • boat launch to be relocated to second parking lot
  • new emergency access
  • new trees to be planted in excess of trees removed
  • new playground at second beach area
  • stormwater management feature to capture and filter rainwater

  1. Existing accessible float
  2. Future special event area
  3. Existing vendor area and power kiosk
  4. New picnic area
  5. New accessible washroom / lifeguard station
  6. Additional beach area
  7. Accessible parking stalls
  8. Permeable hard surfacing
  9. Vegetated swale
  10. Reinforced gravel parking stalls
  11. Bike wash facility
  12. Multi-use trail
  13. Vegetated buffer

Please complete the survey to share which ideas you like and don't like.


EXAMPLES OF IMPROVEMENT IDEAS FROM OTHER PUBLIC SPACES THAT COULD BE IMPLEMENTED AT WESTWOOD LAKE PARK



BACKGROUND

Westwood Lake Park is a jewel in the City of Nanaimo’s park system. Highly used by the community, and it is a favourite with visitors, this park sees heavy use all year round. Over 800 people enjoy the main trail loop every day. The beaches are a popular destination in the summer and there are many options to fish and paddle on the lake. In the last few years, there has been a steady increase in mountain biking and use of the park to access a greater trail network. The area is also a popular venue for events such as triathlons and fundraising runs.

Westwood Lake is a fabricated lake created when Darough Creek was dammed for hydroelectric production in the early 1900s by the regional power network. The hydroelectric plant was abandoned in the 1950s, and the City of Nanaimo purchased the land and dedicated it park in 1957.

Improving and increasing access to waterfront areas has been a community priority identified in Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plans since 1994. Acquisition of land adjacent to Westwood Lake Park has also been a focus, and several additional park parcels have been acquired over the years by purchase and through the development process.

REIMAGINE NANAIMO

Community feedback was collected through Phase 1 of REIMAGINE Nanaimo regarding a variety of community issues. Westwood Lake Park was specifically brought up through engagement with several community organizations, including the Westwood Neighbourhood Association (Friends of Westwood), immediate park neighbours, and various user groups with interest in the park and surrounding areas. A short summary of the input includes:

  • Maintaining the park's natural area as much as possible
  • Addressing overuse concerns, including issues with trail maintenance, trail widths, parking areas, and parking overflow
  • Continuing to acquire additional land parcels to increase the park size
  • Improving traffic flow, conflicts between multiple park users, and emergency access
  • Considering structures for events and group park use such as a picnic shelter
  • Adding park amenities, including a new playground, picnic facilities, activities like sand volleyball, and areas with shade etc.
  • Adding site furnishings, including seating, picnic tables, ping pong tables, etc.
  • Addressing universal accessibility concerns – washrooms, parking, access to water; adaptive single track trails, boat launch, fishing pier, signage and trail condition information
  • Expanding single track trail networks for mountain biking and wilderness recreation
  • Improving amenities and access to the lake for recreational fishing

Phase 2 of the REIMAGINE Nanaimo process is currently underway. REIMAGINE Nanaimo is focused on achieving integrated community goals and this project, when implemented, can showcase integrated community goals such as being Healthy, Connected, Enabled, Empowered and Ecological.

The Westwood Lake Park Amenity Improvement survey will be open through Thanksgiving for input (closes on October 31). In addition to the public survey, engagement activities will include a number of stakeholder meetings, including park neighbours and accessibility advocates, online feedback through GetinvolvedNanaimo.ca, and in person engagement at the park and through committees of Nanaimo City Council.


WESTWOOD LAKE PARKING AND ACCESS

There are currently three areas for cars to park and provide access to Westwood Lake Park. Future active transportation links and transit will also be explored to help provide public access without vehicles. The three existing parking locations are depicted below.

WESTWOOD LAKE ZONING

Most of Westwood Lake Park is zoned PRC-1 Nature Park with a focus on natural spaces. The beach areas are zoned PRC-2 to allow for a variety of recreation and cultural amenities.

TREE IMPACT AND REPLANTING

To accommodate additional parking, some trees would need to be removed. A similar number would be impacted by both conceptual parking layouts.

  • Approximate number of significant trees* to be removed: 4
  • Approximate number of non-significant* trees to be removed: 36

*as defined in City of Nanaimo Bylaw 7126

To offset these impacts, over 40 replacement trees would be planted throughout Westwood Lake Park to enhance and offset any tree canopy loss. Like anyone cutting down trees in our community, the City of Nanaimo would apply for tree removal permits as required in Bylaw 7126 and exceed the replacement requirements. Shade trees and other buffering vegetation would also be planted to restore and enhance the entrance and impacted area near First Beach.

In addition, a Tree Stand Management Plan for the entire park was completed in Summer 2021. A biophysical inventory of the entire park is also being considered to better evaluate park natural features and tree impacts as park use grows and climates shift to help protect the natural character of the PRC-1 natural park.


  • The City of Nanaimo is reimagining many spaces to better meet the needs of the community. Westwood Lake is one of Nanaimo’s busiest park spaces. This constructed lake and surrounding open space are popular for diverse uses including swimming, walking, running, special events, paddling, biking, fishing, dog walking and nature appreciation. We are looking for feedback on ideas for First Beach and the entrance at Westwood Road. Survey feedback will be analyzed and shared with City Council. In addition, neighbourhoods, park stakeholders and Council committees will also provide feedback on park improvement ideas. Please review all information before beginning the survey. The survey will close on October 31.  


    These depicted plans are initial thoughts to make the park entrance and beach better. Items are interchangeable. Please let us know what you like by leaving your thoughts through this online survey.

    All of these park improvement ideas are interchangeable and are intended to spark discussion.


    SITE PLAN 1 - FIRST IDEAS

    Key Features:

    • 75 additional standard parking stalls (134 in total)
    • 2 additional accessible parking stalls (6 in total)
    • 840 square metres of additional beach/picnic area
    • new playground
    • new 3 metre wide multi-use trail
    • renovated washroom/lifeguard station
    • non-motorized boat launch to remain
    • new emergency access
    • new trees to be planted in excess of trees removed
    • stormwater management feature to capture and filter rainwater
    • universally accessible features, including beach and water access that would be wheelchair accessible


    1. Existing accessible float
    2. Existing washroom/lifeguard station to be renovated and made universally accessible
    3. Existing vendor area and power kiosk
    4. New playground (design/equipment to be determined)
    5. Additional beach/picnic area
    6. Accessible parking stalls
    7. Asphalt or alternative hard surfacing drive aisle and parking area
    8. Vegetated swale
    9. Bike wash facility
    10. Multi-use trail
    11. Vegetated buffer
    12. Accessible beach access
    13. Boat launch


    SITE PLAN 2: MORE IDEAS

    All of these park improvement ideas are interchangeable and are intended to spark discussion.

    Key Features:

    • 55 additional standard parking stalls (114 in total)
    • 2 additional accessible parking stalls (6 in total)
    • gravel parking stalls reduce impervious area
    • 840 square metres of additional beach area
    • new accessible washroom/lifeguard station
    • new picnic area
    • new 3 metre wide multi-use trail
    • boat launch to be relocated to second parking lot
    • new emergency access
    • new trees to be planted in excess of trees removed
    • new playground at second beach area
    • stormwater management feature to capture and filter rainwater

    1. Existing accessible float
    2. Future special event area
    3. Existing vendor area and power kiosk
    4. New picnic area
    5. New accessible washroom / lifeguard station
    6. Additional beach area
    7. Accessible parking stalls
    8. Permeable hard surfacing
    9. Vegetated swale
    10. Reinforced gravel parking stalls
    11. Bike wash facility
    12. Multi-use trail
    13. Vegetated buffer



    Take Survey
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Page last updated: 03 September 2021, 09:43