WSC Survival School
Who We Are
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:
of up to 140 serviced cottage and year-round home lots on the entire
*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”
~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
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.
(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
(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
Bark Lake is located in Irondale, Ontario