WSC - Bark Lake Re-Development

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PRESS RELEASE
Provided by: David Arama, WSC Survival School Inc.

BARK LAKE LEADERSHIP CENTER “RE-DEVELOPMENT OPEN-HOUSE” SATURDAY APRIL 8th. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Open House Presented by: Columbia International College (Property Owners), and Peil Planning & Engineering Initiatives Ltd.
Invitees: local interest groups, municipal planners, town council, potential business interests etc. (not advertised to Environmental Groups, Child Education and Camp Groups)

TO WHOM THIS MAY CONCERN:
CALLING ON ALL INTERESTED ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS AND FOLKS INTERESTED IN OUTDOOR EDUCATION FOR KIDS!

This past Thursday/Friday/Saturday April 6 – 8th., 2006, my company, WSC Survival School Inc., organized a Corporate Team-Building Program (we have organized numerous visits over the past 20 years to Bark Lake) at the Bark Lake Outdoor Leadership Center (in Haliburton, Ontario). The staff at Bark Lake notified us that the Bark Lake Center was in fact 'up for sale', and that there would be an 'open house' Saturday morning for all interested parties. After our corporate wilderness program had concluded, I decided to 'sit in' just out of curiosity!

Upon entering the Balsam Building Center, the site of the open-house, I immediately focused on 2 large sign-boards depicting “PROPOSED PLANS OF SUB-DIVISION FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF BARK LAKE”, and I couldn’t help but notice the obvious distress on behalf of the current camp staff, who looked like they were in a complete state of shock. This new re-development plan proposes the following:

    *construction of up to 140 serviced cottage and year-round home lots on the entire waterfront shoreline
    *construction of time-share condos
    *converting the present Oak Centre Lodge buildings to Condominiums
    *plans for application to the local municipality for plan approval by June 2006
    *plans to begin development in 2006/2007, and within 2 – 3 years, a complete “phasing out of the kids leadership camp facilities and programs”, retaining some of the buildings for the property owners as “common elements”


OPEN-HOUSE MINUTES

~Introductions by Jim Campbell, General Manager, Columbia International College (in Hamilton), noted the intense development plans, with mention that Columbia had a controlling interest in the Bark Lake Property (bought out Bob Izumi this past year), and that Columbia is the largest private school in Canada, dedicated to kids education! When asked how much each 150 ft. wide waterfront lot would bring in, Mr. Campbell quoted that they had had several meetings with local real estate companies, and that a representative from 'RE/MAX' said that $200,000.00 per lot is not unreasonable in today’s market!

~introductions by John S. Ariens, Vice-President and Senior Planner, Peil Planners, outlining the intense development plans, drawings and surveys, proper zoning, water and septic systems already in place, environmental assessments in place etc., noting the 2 – 3 year plans, and the May/June application for preliminary building/sub-division approvals from the municipality.

~question/answer period. Most of the attendees were “locals” (Town Reeve, Planning Personnel, potential contractors, local hunt camp operators etc.) and some camp staff, and out of sheer fate (happened to be there Saturday!), myself and my assistant, Amir Fishman (who was also a 12-year-old summer camper at my Outdoor Pursuits camp several years ago, and has a profound interest in his University studies pertaining to Child Education/Therapy in the Wilderness) To my sheer surprise, no environmental interest groups seem to have come up for the occasion!

NO ONE ASKED WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CAMP, THE KIDS, THE MEMORIES……No mention of partially developing the site for some capital, and keeping some of the camp, only thought is the most intensive multi-million dollar development grab imaginable…..WHY IS A “LEADING SCHOOL/PRIVATE COLLEGE” GETTING INTO THE REAL ESTATE DEVEPMENT BUSINESS, AND ABANDONING THE KIDS CAMP (they really care about kids!!!) By sheer chance, myself and Amir happened in on this secretive, poorly advertised meeting.

HERE WE GO AGAIN…..WILDERNESS IS UNDER SIEGE….WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO STOP THIS RELENTLESS DESTRUCTION…..please, an “S.O.S. to all interested parties to attend the next 're-development meetings' to voice your opinions before it’s too late” (again, like the Leslie M. Frost Centre)

*****THIS 450+ ACRES SITE CONTAINS SOME OF THE LAST UNSPOILED SPRUCE-BOG WETLANDS LEFT IN ONTARIO, THE LAKE IS COTTAGE-FREE, SURROUNDED BY PRISTINE CROWN LANDS, THERE IS SIGNIFICANT POPULATIONS OF PILIATED WOODPECKERS, GREAT BLUE HERON NESTING GROUNDS, MOUNTAIN LIONS HAVE BEEN SPOTTED, AND WOLF PACKS DEN ON AND NEXT TO THE SITE!!!!!

Sincerely, David Arama, Director, WSC Survival School Inc.

CONTACTS:
(1) Jim Campbell, General Manager,
COLUMBIA INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE/CENTURY LANE DEVELOPMENTS CORPORATION,
1003 Main Street West,
Hamilton Ontario Canada L8S-4P3

905-572-7883 ext. 2819
905-572-9332 fax
General.manager@cic-totalcare.com

(2) John S. Ariens,
Vice-President & Senior Planner, Hamilton Office-Manager,
Peil Planning & Engineering Initiatives Ltd.
360 James Street North, Suite 200, East Wing,
Hamilton, Ontario Canada L8L-1H5

(3) Bark Lake is located in Irondale, Ontario
info@barklake.com
www.barklake.com
1-888-517-9999

 

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