A new sandy beach will be created this year on a stretch of publicly-owned waterfront land between Strathcona Park and Royal Avenue.
Adding and compacting sand to 120 metres of rocky public waterfront north of Strathcona Park could control erosion at the site for more than a decade, city council will hear today.
"Proposed works will mimic natural appearances and processes," reads part of a report to council from parks staffer Barb Davidson.
The "sand re-nourishment" project also includes new landscaping, and construction of a lakeside public walkway between the end of Royal Avenue and Strathcona Park, immediately next to Kelowna General Hospital.
Plans call for truckloads of sand to be laid down in 15 centimetre-thick layers, then watered to ensure compaction.
"The imported material will eventually erode and be transported off site to the north, but it will prevent further erosion of the existing upland areas for an estimated 10 to 12 years," Davidson says. "The amount of (sand) introduced into the lake will be insignificant over the long term."
Total cost of stabilizing the foreshore is estimated at just under $200,000. Council is expected today to authorize submission of a $30,000 grant to the Okanagan Basin Water Board to help pay for the project.
The "sand renourishment" approach is said to be a new erosion-control method that's superior to existing practices of installing large boulders or rebuilding retaining walls.
"Through the success of this project, it's hoped that sand renourishment could become a viable solution of foreshore stabilization elsewhere in the Okanagan," reads part of the city's application for OBWB funding.
In most waterfront areas, public land ownership extends only between the low- and high-water marks. But between Strathcona Park and Royal Avenue, the city owns an additional 15-metre wide strip above the high-water level.
There are several homes in the area, and owners have long known the city would one day open up the publicly-owned land for public use, city officials say.
"I can't say they're thrilled about this, but they have had many years' notice this was coming eventually," Terry Barton, another parks official, said in December.