Deer Lake -
After next week's training of six employees who will be doing trail and sign work within the town, the Deer Lake Tourism Corp. will be getting its shovels ready to dig into their summer projects of the first phase of their tourism and recreation plan.
The corporation held a general meeting Wednesday to spread awareness about the impending short- and long-term plans of the project as well as to relay the message it is looking for help in all aspects of the organization such as communication, keeping track of the finances and other administrative roles. There are currently five board members for the corporation.
"It was a general meeting, giving background to people about what we're doing this summer and to look at the big picture. ... Long-term scope and then the particular pieces they might like to be involved in. It was a recruitment meeting in some ways," said Dr. Greg Wood, chairman of the corporation.
Wood said it's exciting to be so close to more development of the tourism plan, with six staff hired to start work on the walking trail and install signage around town.
"We're waiting on TRACT consulting for the final construction drawings of the trail and some signage so we can order some of the materials that we need for that and what heavy equipment we're going to need to move materials," he said.
The signage will be developed throughout town and at all entry points to the community, from the Viking Trail, east and west on the Trans-Canada Highway. All signs will incorporate the town's new logo will give the area a new fresh feeling and a cohesive identity.
Along with signage being developed, the corporation is constructing two to three kilometres of walking trail from Nicholsville Bridge to the Viking Trail this summer and fall. The 1.5-metre wide crushed stone path will be similar in length to the current beach walking trail. Wood said the trail will be enhanced with interpretation panels, some benches as well as entranceway signage.
He said basic directional signage is also missing to generate traffic off the highway and toward sites like the beach.
"You come down over the hill from Corner Brook and you see a beach, but there are no signs telling you how to get there. ... We want to do that as part of the first phase of this project," said Wood.
Wood said the interesting heritage and present sites of Deer Lake is important to incorporate into the signage concept as well.
"The heritage of Deer Lake is an important part of the tourism side, but it's also a part of pride and place. We're trying to generate interest in people that we do have some nice sites, but none of them have any signage attached to them and there's little or no interpretation done. Deer Lake Power doesn't have anything about it that you can drive to and visit. All that is missing in this town," said Wood.
Anyone interested in getting involved with the Deer Lake Tourism Development Corp. or purchasing a metre of walking trail for $25 to support the Deer Lake trail system can call 635-5800.