Alberta Environment and Parks: Parks Operations Division, the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River, and the Town of Slave Lake have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on May 3rd, 2022. The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is to establish a formalized working relationship between the three groups to maintain existing tourism and community recreation opportunities within Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, specifically around Devonshire Beach, while also exploring, planning, developing and operationalizing new or enhanced tourism products and partnerships within Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park.
The Memorandum of Understanding is intended to create stronger communication lines and opportunities to discuss current and future operations within Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, as well establishing responsibilities and shared resources for each group in the ongoing growth and maintenance of Devonshire Beach.
Alberta Environment and Parks: Parks Operations Division will be responsible for the management, operations, programming, and planning that occurs within the Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park. This includes collaborating with the Town of Slave Lake and Municipal District of Lesser Slave River to deliver better maintained tourism and community features through Devonshire Beach and the Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, exploring new and innovative ways to deliver operations to LSLPP, perusing business partners to set up along Devonshire Beach to provide services to the public such as food and boat rentals, and collaborating with the Town of Slave Lake and Municipal District of Lesser Slave River to develop a volunteer steward program that would help find volunteers to help promote and maintain Devonshire Beach.
Beach maintenance will also be a key factor of this agreement, with the Parks Operations Division realigning the maintained portions of Devonshire Beach, creating a longer maintained beach towards the centre of the beach, and a shorter and more accessible length on the south side.
The Municipal District of Lesser Slave River will assist the Parks Operations Division in purchasing beach grooming equipment through in-kind support. This equipment would be available for use by both parties. The Municipal District will also establish a “driftwood” log lay down area on Municipal District of Lesser Slave River property, where salvaged logs and usable wood from Devonshire Beach will be organized for members of the public to acquire for personal and commercial use.
The Town of Slave Lake will maintain marketing and communication efforts using the Town’s online presence to promote Devonshire Beach as a prime tourism destination on Lesser Slave Lake, as well as using its resources on public education to ensure appropriate behaviour is promoted at the beach so everyone is able to enjoy it safely.
Both the Town of Slave Lake and Municipal District of Lesser Slave River will assist the Parks Operations Division with beach maintenance through agreed upon beach cleanup days by providing staff and equipment.
Peace Officers from both the Municipal District and Town of Slave Lake will patrol Devonshire Beach on a non-regular, joint program effort to maintain public peace by utilizing communication and education as the primary role of service.
"I'm excited to see our Council's vision of economic development being realized. The success of partnering with the Province and our neighbours to better look after and promote our amenities is a huge accomplishment for the entire Region. Investing in improving user experiences for both visitors and our residents only works to attract more people to this Region and improve the quality of life for those that enjoy it. I want to thank Brice Ferguson for championing this initiative and current and past council's for supporting his vision."
-Tyler Warman. Mayor of the Town of Slave Lake
"This agreement is a “big win” for the Slave Lake Region. We have been lobbying for an enhanced service level in the park and particularly, Devonshire Beach for a few years. This agreement helps to further increase the lines of communication, provides for a higher level of maintenance, and will help ensure that the progress we’ve made so far is not lost. All of the Slave Lake Region will benefit from this collaborative agreement."
-Brice Ferguson. Town of Slave Lake Councillor