Community

Campers welcome at Sayres Lake

The new campground at Sayres Lake, built by the province in partnership with the District of Mission and Kwantlen First Nations, opened Monday morning. Left to right: Ashley Doyle from Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group, Elder John Savino, Elder Wes Antone, Kwantlen First Nation’s Les Antone, Mission Mayor Ted Adlem, Sites and Trails B.C.’s Mike Peters, Sayres Lake host Andria Colwell, and Mission’s director of forestry Bob O’Neal help cut the ribbon. - Carol Aun photo
The new campground at Sayres Lake, built by the province in partnership with the District of Mission and Kwantlen First Nations, opened Monday morning. Left to right: Ashley Doyle from Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group, Elder John Savino, Elder Wes Antone, Kwantlen First Nation’s Les Antone, Mission Mayor Ted Adlem, Sites and Trails B.C.’s Mike Peters, Sayres Lake host Andria Colwell, and Mission’s director of forestry Bob O’Neal help cut the ribbon.
— image credit: Carol Aun photo

Campers have a new place to set up tent in Mission.

The 40-site campground at Sayres Lake officially opened Monday. A host is on site 24 hours a day and campers can drive up to their spot, or walk in. Each camp area has a tent pad, fire pit and picnic table.

Visitors can fish, swim and even launch their canoe or kayak in the lake, which only accommodates electric motors.

The site, about 12 kilometres up Florence Lake Forest Service Road (aka Burma Road), sits in the middle of Mission’s municipal forest and is in the heart of Kwantlen First Nations territory. There are many unique features at the camp, including massive cedar stumps, a day-use picnic area, and group sites.

It took about six months to rebuild the site, said Mike Peters of Sites and Trails B.C., a division of the Ministry of Forests, which invested $170,000 to reconstruct the property. The land had been damaged from years of use by ATVers, who left trails “everywhere.”

“People wrecked the national stream course,” explained Peters. “It took a while to get the water back to where it should be.”

With culverts and new roads, the water issue is addressed, said Peters, noting that was the most challenging part of the project. “Now the possibilities are endless.”

The Sayres Lake project is the first in a larger program to clean up Burma Road. Mission will also be exploring options to improve public safety, including monitoring who is accessing the area, said Bob O’Neal, Mission’s director of forestry.

“We need to improve the reputation and get families back up here.”

Kwantlen First Nation’s Les Antone agreed. With more people using the area, we will have more eyes and ears in remote locations, said Antone, noting not everyone who goes up Burma Road are looking to cause mischief.

“Even some young people want a place to go that’s safe,” said Antone, adding youth groups and elders can access the new campground.

“Ninety-nine per cent of people who come are happy it’s here,” said Sayres Lake caretaker Andria Colwell, who said campers are already reserving their spot for the long weekend. “They’re families with young kids.”

Camping at Sayres Lake is $13 per day. For more information visit www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca.

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