My Dad’s Beach Stewardship Lessons

Cottage protected by dune

Our property protected by a sand dune – 1960’s

In 1949 my Dad bought lake view property in Wasaga Beach for $800.
He always maintained that the property should remain natural and it is to this day.  That approach has served us well for over 6 decades.  We find it a lot less work and beautiful in its natural state.
Always veg on beach

Vegetation on the beach

Over the years I have seen the water levels high and low.  And always there was some vegetation on the beach depending on the lake level.  In the early days no one thought nature should be changed.  Up until 1973 everyone drove on the beach to get to their cottages or just enjoy a drive.  After that without cars on the beach more natural plants grew and this helped to retain the sand.
When the lake level was high our property went out into the water.  This was a time when my Dad’s words came into play.  We are fortunate to be here and always share.  For that period of time we were “water front” not “water view”.
1986 high waters

Rising water levels – 1986

In 1986 with high lake levels a big November storm took out 15 feet from our dune that had formed in front of our home.  Again we saw my Father’s wisdom. The vegetation on that dune protected our property from water damage. It was an enormous change all along the shore.  As the water retreated we replanted Marram Grass from the Ministry of Natural Resources to stabilize our dune once again.
View today

The beauty of our natural view

In 65 years I have seen water levels come and go and have realized that nature takes good care of things. This is a northern beach to be enjoyed and we have a wonderful opportunity to share, show case and educate people about it. In talking to people visiting our beach I realize that there is growing interest in eco-tourism and more natural settings.


My favourite beach no matter how narrow or wide, is one that has just been washed by high waves. Nature does the best beach maintenance for me.
I was raised to believe WE ALL should be stewards of the beach. No one can do it alone.

By Marjorie Ridley



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: