News / Edmonton

Noise, garbage, 'bags of excrement' at popular Accidental Beach need to be addressed

Edmonton city council has asked staff to explore ways to make the beach, which formed spontaneously last summer, less disruptive to neighbours.

The Accidental Beach formed spontaneously over the summer in a bend in the river, the result of sediment that ended up in the water from construction on a nearby LRT bridge.

Kevin Maimann / Metro Order this photo

The Accidental Beach formed spontaneously over the summer in a bend in the river, the result of sediment that ended up in the water from construction on a nearby LRT bridge.

The fate of Edmonton’s favourite unintentional attraction is still up in the air, but city council has asked staff to figure out if it’s possible to make Accidental Beach more accessible and less problematic for neighbours next summer.

The Accidental Beach formed spontaneously over the summer in a bend in the river, the result of sediment that ended up in the water from construction on a nearby LRT bridge.

The beach, which city officials call Cloverdale Beach, quickly became a popular hangout for Edmontonians who marvelled at having beach access in a landlocked city.

Reg Kontz, president of the Cloverdale Community League called the beach a wonderful amenity, but said the crowds flocking to the expanse of sand were a challenge for neighbours.

People parked cars all over nearby neighbourhoods, were sometimes noisy, and left garbage—among other things—behind.

“People would leave bags of human excrement on the sidewalk,” Kontz said.

But the city didn't formally recognize the attraction or provide amenities, and now they're looking at whether that's possible.

Administration also asked staff to look at other potential beach sites along the river to “spread out the fun,” and take some of the burden off of residents of Cloverdale.

Reg Kontz is the president of the Cloverdale Community League

Kevin Tuong

Reg Kontz is the president of the Cloverdale Community League

But muddying the water is the fact that the beach sits in the middle of several governmental jurisdictions.

The beach is technically under provincial jurisdiction, while federal law governs the North Saskatchewan River. Meanwhile, the city is responsible for the parkland above the beach.

Any laws the city wants to impose, including setting up hours for the public to visit the beach, would require permission from other levels of government.

“The three orders of government have all different jurisdictions on the river, so we are going to come back and clarify where we do have jurisdiction and how we can deal with the late night partying,” said Roger Jevne, branch manager of community recreational facilities.

Administration is expected to bring the plan to council in February 2018.

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