Prince Edward County News

The county is seeking public input on three concepts for the revitalization of Wellington Rotary Beach – ranging from a significant financial investment in ‘Big Move’ changes, to modest ‘Tweak’ and ‘Naturalize’ improvements.

The concepts were developed by community members of the Wellington Waterfront Task Force, formed in the spring of 2022, at the request of council and the Community and Economic Development Commission.

The team was tasked with developing a revitalization plan that addresses identified challenges such as parking, pedestrian access, accessibility, outdated amenities and more. In May, the team engaged landscapers from The Planning Partnership to work with a group of 25 community members to co-create three different concepts for the future of Wellington Rotary Beach.

The task force includes Mike Harper (Councillor, Wellington), Lesley Lavender (CEDC), Councilor Janice Maynard (CEDC), Phyo Kyi and John Inwood (both from the Rotary Club of Wellington) and Citizen Members Jennifer Armstrong, Corey Engelsdorfer and
Dan Leeming.

The concepts were illustrated and presented on the website Give your opinion of the municipality. At this point, the team is looking for feedback to understand what the community likes and dislikes about the concepts. The public is invited to give their opinion by means of an online survey before August 1st.

Feedback should be used to inform a longer term plan for the beach, which can then be used to seek funds for capital projects and beach improvements. As the project progresses, there will be further public consultation and work to ensure alignment with the Quinte Conservation Authority’s Shoreline Management Plan and other relevant plans. .

Additional information is posted on the county’s website. The survey is also available in hard copy upon request from Julianne Snepsts, Community Programs Supervisor, at 613.476.2148 ext. 1008 or by email at [email protected]

The “Big Move” concept represents a picture of how the beach could be developed over a longer period of time with significant financial investments and major infrastructure improvements. This includes:
– Reconstruction of the road and boardwalk to minimize the impacts of rising lake levels
– Location of paid parking on the north side of the road
– Construction of a new pedestrian bridge to rue Belleville to create a connected pedestrian loop
– Construct new centralized all-weather buildings to house park facilities as well as vendors/concessions.
– This concept emphasizes “active” uses of the beach and vehicular activity in the western zone while maintaining access to nautical activities in the eastern zone. An access gate between the two areas aims to limit vehicle traffic in this part of the park during the busiest times of the year. However, pedestrian access will continue to flow through the park year-round.

The “Tweak” concept represents a picture of how the park could be improved in the immediate and short term, with less financial investment and infrastructure improvements. This includes:

– Reconstruction of the road and boardwalk to minimize the impacts of rising lake levels
– Move vehicle parking to a central location that doubles as a drop off/turnaround
– Provide new structures to house vendors/concession
– Revamp the boat launch area to provide trailer parking while renaturalizing the beach side area with native plantings and dunes
– This concept maintains all existing infrastructure on the beach, while reorganizing traffic and parking to prioritize pedestrian travel and experiences. The network of looping walkways includes a sidewalk along Beach Street, an elevated boardwalk along the beach, and trails through wooded areas. In addition, existing gravel walkways and parking areas are replaced with naturalized landscaping at the east end of the park and on-street parking is reinstated along Wellington Main Street.
– An alternative design for the “Tweak” concept has no vendor/dealer structures in the central area; these are seasonal/non-permanent structures located on the north side of the parking/landing area. In addition, the boat launch area includes a new canoe/kayak storage facility as well as an improved boat launch.

The “Naturalize” concept represents a picture of how the beach could be developed as a natural environment where vehicle access is strictly limited to entry and disembarkation only. The concept contains elements that can be implemented in the immediate and longer term, with modest to significant financial investment. This includes:
– Narrowing of the road
– Removal of existing toilets and construction of new shade pavilions along the promenade
– The most significant elements of this concept are the pedestrian bridge crossing the channel to connect to Belleville Street and the introduction of a shuttle to connect to off-site parking facilities.
– This concept emphasizes the natural environment and the facilities and activities that fit into and complement this environment. More importantly, it aims to restore a landscape of naturalized dunes.

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