A 13-acre property in Bondville has been acquired by the Town of Brome Lake thanks to the generosity of two donors: The CARKE Foundation ($600,000) and the Poulin family ($250,000). This land, near the intersection of Cowell Street and Bondville Road, provides an 80 metre access to Brome Lake and extends up the wooded hillside all the way to chemin Tibbits Hill.

The news was made public at a news conference on February 6. In attendance from CARKE were Claire Kerrigan, Donald Gray-Donald and David Kininmonth, and Benoit Poulin represented the Poulin family.

“We are proud to help provide additional access to Brome Lake. This is an opportunity to fullfil one of our missions by providing more recreational facilities for the population,” underlined CARKE Foundation president, Cynthia Wilkinson.

The CARKE Foundation is a local, not-for-profit organization founded in the 1970s. A highly successful money-raising campaign in 2005-6 for the Centre Lac-Brome and adjoining Medical Clinic, plus a generous bequest, left the Foundation with approximately $1M, which was initially slated to help fund an indoor swimming pool. But in 2017 the pool project was dropped due to lack of government support.

A skating rink near the Centre Lac-Brome was funded by the Foundation and last summer a splash pad beside it, but as it is not often that such a sum of money becomes available the Foundation wanted to invest in a substantial project, one that would benefit the whole population. It was evident that there was a huge need for increased public access to the lake, but very little land available. When CARKE heard about the Poulin property, it soon realized that it had more attributes than just waterfront, and is in an area with very little other public space.

This wooded property once housed the Terrace Inn which was owned and run by Wilfrid Poulin. The land has been in the family for 60 years and as Benoit Poulin said: “We are pleased to be able to make public a place that our family cherished. The family never wanted to sell the land to developers and, when CARKE presented their project to them, it seemed like the ideal solution.

The first priority for TBL in regard to this land is to ensure public safety, with proper signage and crossing over Bondville Road to the waterside and to create ample parking, washroom facilities and a picnic area. Only non-motorized boats will be allowed to launch into the lake through this public area. Mayor Richard Burcombe concluded “We will continue to reflect on ways to enhance this new acquisition. This site has immense recreational potential. I would like to thank both donors for their legacy. Their generosity will benefit our entire community for years to come.”