Looking Ahead: Island Lake Conservation Area Management Plan

A bridge spanning over water with lily pads growing in it.

A Perfect Spot to Connect With Nature

A visit to Island Lake Conservation Area (CA) is the perfect destination to explore, discover and appreciate the headwaters of the Credit River Watershed. Through a diverse range of recreational activities and educational programs, the park’s 329 hectares provide the ideal backdrop for people to connect with nature.

We are committed to developing management strategies that provide safe and enjoyable experiences at our park. Our ongoing assessment of visitation levels helps us protect the natural environment.

The Island Lake Conservation Area (CA) Management Plan outlines a new vision and goals for Island Lake CA and provides a roadmap for park management and development over the next 25 years.

Planning for the Future

We have worked hard over the past few years to determine the best approach for the 2021 Island Lake CA Management Plan. The plan builds off the successful implementation of the 1997 Island Lake CA Management Plan and is guided by CVC’s Conservation Areas Master Strategy, published in 2018. Island Lake is the first conservation area management plan to be developed under this strategy.

Three Phases of the Planning Process

Phase I – Situation Analysis

The first phase involved a thorough analysis of the natural, cultural, social and economic values of the community that were used as the foundation for idea generation and decision making in the plan. The Island Lake CA Management Plan Background Report summarizes this characterization and initial recommendations.

Phase II – Strategic Directions

In the second phase, we developed and refined of management ideas and park projects through consultation with the public, stakeholders and agency partners. Community feedback included a desire to preserve Island Lake CA’s natural state, develop sustainable facilities during the park’s redevelopment and expand educational opportunities through interpretive programs, workshops and summer camps.

By incorporating these ideas and feedback, we developed a site plan and visual representations for key facilities and park experiences, and made informed choices regarding policies, projects and programming initiatives.

Illustrated rendering of a park, with people walking along a trail. A building, a lake and a sunset is in the background.
An illustrated rendering of the future vision for Island Lake Conservation Area.

Phase III – Management Plan

The final phase introduces the final vision of the conservation area. It aligns with the directions specified in the Strategic Directions Report to provide more specific management direction and policies to guide the day-to-day management of Island Lake CA.

Two people fishing off a boat, on a lake.
Two visitors enjoy a day of the fishing on Island Lake.

The Vision for Island Lake CA

Our vision for Island Lake CA is to create a resilient and thriving space that promotes the health and well-being of our communities. Island Lake CA will provide a link between people, nature and culture, inspiring an appreciation for the Credit River.

A central piece to this plan emphasizes the importance of connecting and collaborating with our local community groups while honouring, sharing, and celebrating Indigenous history and culture.

Our aim is to:

  • Enhance existing recreational activities and educational programs
  • Improve safety and accessibility
  • Restore degraded natural areas
  • Address parking and traffic concerns
  • Refresh and modernize park facilities for staff and visitors

To support this vision, we’ll follow five objectives to measure the plan’s success.

  1. Protect, restore and enhance Island Lake CA to sustain a healthy, resilient environment.
  2. Connect people with nature and cultivate community pride for Island Lake CA through the development of strong, nurturing and meaningful relationships.
  3. Sustain the health of the Credit River by conserving and managing Island Lake CA’s water resources.
  4. Experiences offered are accessible, inclusive and engaging, making Island Lake CA a destination of choice to explore, discover and appreciate.
  5. Deliver services that reflect our commitment to quality, fiscal responsibility, health and safety and the natural environment.

The Island Lake Management Plan prioritizes diverse programming and visitor experiences. This will contribute to the positive reputation of Credit Valley Park as a premier outdoor recreation destination. Equally important is our commitment to protect, restore, enhance and proactively manage the natural resources of the site.

Implementing this plan represents a generational investment that ensures Island Lake CA remains a beloved destination by our local communities and watershed visitors for outdoor exploration, enjoyment and learning for the next century.

We invite you to read the management plan.

A pink flower growing in a meadow beside a walking path.
Common milkweed (asclepias series) on the hiking trial at Island Lake CA.

Join us at the Island Lake CA Open House

Connect with us at our Island Lake CA Open House! Join us, Tuesday June 11, for a fun and educational day outdoors to learn how the new management plan will protect and improve the park. Meet dedicated volunteers, educators and experts from CVC.

Discover ways you can experience Island Lake CA. Cast a line, paddle on the lake, walk the trails or picnic by the forest. Plan your visit.

By Sarah Lebret, Associate, Marketing and Communications

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