Sturgeon County > News & Events > Public Engagement > Sandy Lake Wilderness Area

Sandy Lake Wilderness Area

Sandy Lake Wilderness Area is a 167-hectare environmental reserve in Sturgeon County. The County is in the process of creating a plan to protect the natural biodiversity of the area while finding ways the public can enjoy the space. This scope of work includes a Biophysical assessment of the park’s natural features including vegetation, wildlife and habitat, hydrology and water resources, as well as a review of safety issues, access management and human use.  Over the next few months, residents and stakeholders will have the opportunity to build a park vision and provide feedback on specific aspects of the project including the park design and ongoing management based on the opportunities and constraints identified in the Biophysical Assessment. Park improvements will be funded through the annual budget process and grant applications. 

What's Next?

The County is hosting an in-person creative workshop on September 14, 2021 to:  

  • Identify the issues 
  • Describe the barriers to access the space 
  • Talk about your ideas for enhancing the park 

Your participation at this event will help inform how this project should move to the next phase. 

Register Here

Where We Are Now


Step: Phase I
Lay of the Land


Step: Phase II
Concept Development 


Step: Phase III
A Vision Forward


Step: Phase IV


A consultant was retained by the County to assess the existing site conditions including the suitability for development. The completion of a Biophysical Assessment (BA) will describe the significant natural, cultural and historical features, and landscape context. It will document vegetation, wetlands, riparian condition, wildlife, species of conservation concern, surface water, contours, soils, landforms, and trails/tracks.  Based on this assessment development opportunities and constraints will be described. The consultant will assess and prioritize recreational needs of the surrounding community based on the public engagement results. 


Status: In-Progress Complete Early Fall 2021

This phase will form a framework for a preferred concept design for the wilderness area. The project team will undertake a detailed evaluation of the biophysical, infrastructure, historical/cultural inventory, relevant policy documents, as well as public and stakeholder engagement outcomes. A preliminary site development program statement that establishes the extent of acceptable uses and possible facilities/infrastructure will be drafted. Opportunities and constraints mapping that summarizes the context and development of a Framework Plan will help establish landscape themes and possible land management directions. Two development concept alternative that indicate choices and directions for management zones, site access, general site circulation, uses/activities, buffers, and infrastructure options. The concepts will include an order of magnitude of estimated costs. The project team will engage the pubic once again to identify a preferred concept approach. 

Status: In-Progress Late Fall 2021 

Draft management principles, goals, and strategies for vegetation, wildlife and habitat, hydrology and water resources, access, safety and human use to conserve the site into the future will be developed based on work completed in previous phases and the preferred concept. Site-specific benchmarks will be included for the sustainability/management plan as well as an implementation strategy and cost estimates. Opportunities for regional partnerships will be explored. Prior to Council review and approval, the concept and management plan will be presented to the pubic for final review and input. 

Status: Not-Started Early Winter 2021

Based on Councils direction, administration will include the development of park features in the annual capital budget process and continue to pursue grant funding.

Status: Not-Started TBD (If required)

Find Out More

For more information on the project, please contact 

Karolina Drabik