Grand Lake Meadows
 


 

 

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Home > When : Modern Developments
 
Bridge across St. John River near Grand Lake, courtesy of Keith McKenzie
Bridge across St. John River near Grand Lake, courtesy of Keith McKenzie
Bridges across the Jemseg River, courtesy of David Hamilton
Bridges across the Jemseg River, courtesy of David Hamilton
Pleasure craft on Grand Lake, courtesy of Keith McKenzie
Pleasure craft on Grand Lake, courtesy of Keith McKenzie
Modern Developments
 
In recent times the most dramatic development in the Grand Lake Meadows was the building of the Maritime Road Development Corporation and Province of New Brunswick highway in the 1990s.
 
This construction made a 55 hectare footprint where it crossed the Meadows from the St. John River to the Jemseg River. Thousands of tons of rocky fill were moved there to build a roadbed that would be above all previously recorded flood levels, and the builders did make every effort to keep disruption of the marsh and its inhabitants to a minimum.
 
This was at the insistence of local environmental groups, and the project was monitored by them. Also a fund was created by the partners in the construction project to ameliorate the environmental and cultural damage inadvertently caused by the road.
 
Another dramatic, although natural event that has the potential to make an impact on the Meadows each spring is the freshet that brings flood waters to the area between the River and Grand Lake.
 
The 2008 event was the second highest recorded water level, rivaling the all- time high reached in 1973. There also was major flooding in 2005, 1993, 1979 and in 1934.
 
Other relatively recent developments in the Grand Lake Meadows included in the last part of the twentieth century one beef cattle operation, which required special consideration during spring flooding. Also some market gardeners began to grow crops like cabbage, pumpkins, corn, tomatoes and even potatoes on the interval.
 
The land was rich and these operations appeared to be successful but with the decline in farming this practice has stopped. Current use is seasonal and is to a large extent recreational although some firewood, fiddleheads, and muskrats are harvested there. Duck hunting, bird watching, snowmobiling and some cross country skiing take place within the Meadows, and there are splendid opportunities for boating on the adjoining waterways.