SUDBURY -- Mary Cowder has lived in the Greater Sudbury community of Lively all of her life.

"I love this community. I’ve always lived here. My children grew up here, my grandchildren, so I’m passionate about the town itself," she said.

That’s why when she heard that there was a possibility that Meatbird Lake was going to be sold to Vale, she started a petition.

"It’s a swimming hole that we’ve used all our lives and it’s the only swimming facility that is in walking distance for the people of Lively," Crowder said.

On Tuesday, the City of Greater Sudbury announced the sale will go ahead at the price tag of $4 million.

"I know that Meatbird Lake Park is a valued asset for the people of Walden and I can assure you that we worked hard to ensure that we will have the resources to provide you with new recreational amenities," said Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger. "We know how much our citizens value time spent outdoors and we look forward to hearing from you on how this money can be used to offer new, safe and exciting recreational opportunities in the Lively area."

Vale is undertaking tailings dam improvements over the next 10 years, including an erosion control project located near Meatbird Lake Park.

Brittney Price, head of corporate affairs and sustainability for Vale's North Atlantic operations said there were three main factors for proposing the sale of the property.

"As a result of that work, we’re going to see a significant increase in haulage traffic on a road that is owned by Vale that goes right by Meatbird, so we wanted to ensure as a good community neighbour and partner the public safety, and so that was first and foremost," Price said. "In addition to that, there is some environmental reclamation that needs to be done in and around the lake and want to ensure we are able to do that effectively, which also required us to purchase the property. And lastly, we have sustainability goals as a company and one of those sustainability goals is around reducing our freshwater consumption."

Vale wants residents to know it is confident that through routine testing it believes the water in the lake is safe, however, another consideration in purchasing the property was reducing its water consumption. Currently, the company pumps in the equivalent of enough water that would fill an Olympic size swimming pool twice per week.

Over the coming months, residents will have an opportunity to share feedback on what recreation opportunities they would like to see.

In the meantime, the city said a supervised beach at Centennial Park in Whitefish will be available for residents this summer.