Volunteering at its finest

By Geoff Lee

April 27, 2017 12:00 AM

WHAT'S UP DOCK? Wayne King, who lives at Sandy Beach, led a group of volunteers to install a public dock this winter along with this access dock to a pump that keeps the lake water level after spring melt or heavy rain. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Volunteerism is alive and thriving at Sandy Beach Regional Park.
It can be seen in the work a local park board committee is doing to give the nine-hole golf course a professional layout and in a new public dock, spearheaded by resident Wayne King.
“Without volunteers, there would be that much more stress and responsibility put on the park board,” said King.
The super-handyman has led the charge to rebuild the dock three times since the mid-80s.
The new 130-ft by 8-ft steel structure dock will be used by dozens of boaters, fishermen and cottagers when the ice is off the lake.
“This was an amenity I thought was important to install,” King said.
“A volunteer park board can only do so much, and so we need to have these special projects spearheaded by other individuals in the park.”
King is a member of the park board who calls himself the instigator of the dock project, and got all of the approvals for it in order.
Late last fall, he removed the old dock and waited for the ice to build to bring in heavy equipment for the build.
He also enlisted a small army of volunteers and companies to donate materials for the dock, which was built and installed on site in January.
“I decided that screw piles are a wonderful thing,” said King.
“I didn’t want to have a floating dock because they are unstable; I wanted to have it stationary, in place year round.”
It’s held in place by 12-ft. screw piles using steel pipe for the supporting structure, filled with concrete panels for longevity, with some cedar panels for eye appeal. This is a permanent dock that will last a lifetime,” said King.
Replacing the dock has become King’s pet volunteer project dating back to his first crack at it in the mid 80s, when city took its water from an aquifier in the area.
Growth from the city drew down lake levels to the point where King recalled there were only a couple of potholes of water left.
“At that point in time, I decided to take the old wooden dock out and install a newer steel dock with a wood surface and move it out toward the middle of the lake,” he said.
When the city finally moved its water intake to the North Saskatchewan River, lake water levels rebounded, along with the opportunity to expand the dock.
“So we elevated the dock and added on and just made do,” said King.
This year, King and his winter crew of volunteers added a secondary utility dock to access a pumping system that has been used for a few years to control lake levels.
“It keeps the cottage owners happy around the lake,” said King.
“So to put in a permanent dock now, I thought was appropriate.”
King funded a significant chunk of money and time for the two docks himself, but he is grateful for the help and contributions he received from others.
“Several local companies saw what I was doing and wanted to participate, and several companies did help out with donations,” he said.
There are plans by King and the park board to recognize all parties that lent a hand this year to the multiple improvements taking place.
“There are many volunteers in the park; a lot of them live here year round,” said King,  who plows snow at his end of the lake.
“This is a great little community,” he said.
“It’s very active in sports and so forth, so I thought it was just appropriate that I contribute.”
King noted the board hired a consultant to rework the golf course with a completion target in August.
“We’ve converted the sand greens to grass greens,” said King.
“We’ve installed a full irrigation system; we’ve changed some holes around to make them more difficult and interesting.”

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