New year, new possibilities.

by John McDowell, URLA President

As we begin 2021, I look forward to the days starting (slowly) to lengthen. because it means that we are on the upward swing! With 2020 finally in the rearview mirror, it’s a chance for new beginnings. As you can see from the picture above, we updated our URLA signage in December. Together with Steve Moretti and Dave Counter, I helped install the new aluminum sign that features a view of Upper Rideau Lake from the North Shore, with two canoeists paddling past the image of our logo, a white heron. During the year, some of our Board members changed. Most recently, Terry Frostad, our Secretary retired, treasurer Michael Hogan moved back to Saskatchewan for family reasons and Karyn Standen is now our Secretary.

Many thanks to each of you.

Unfortunately, Gaynor Stachel, who was set to assume Treasurer duties in the new year has had to withdraw due to pandemic related work duties. l would like to thank Gaynor for agreeing to volunteer with us and understand that circumstances can and do change. She is doing her best to support our Treasurer requirements for the remainder of the month.

So, what’s ahead?

Well, it’s clear that COVID-19 is accelerating changes that were already underway for our lake and our residents. We can expect more development and more full-time residents. Westport will grow, starting this coming year, when the first of its new “Watercolour” residential homes are constructed. Our summers may even stay hotter, longer.

At the same time, there is increased awareness of lake health, and recognition of the value of responsible development. I expect, for example, that Westport will establish an inspection program for private septic systems. The Township now registers site plan conditions on title for waterfront properties, to guide future owners. Dr. Smol’s team took core samples from our lake sediment – and we should get some early results in 2021. And, URLA is doing more water quality testing.

Thanks for your continuing support.  See you on the lake!

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