2020 Member Trail Grant Recipients
The STA is pleased to announce the recipients of our Member Trail Grant Program. We will be providing $1000 grants to the Foam Lake & District Leisure Services Board and the Qu’Appelle Valley Nordic Ski Club.
The Foam Lake project involves a group of dedicated volunteers called Team Nature Trails (TNT), which has been working to improve the community’s overall well-being and quality of life by restoring the nature trails in the RM of Foam Lake’s Foam Lake Heritage Marsh areas. This area is a designated International Birding Area, and sees many tourist “birders” each year during migration periods. Many locals like to explore this area over the summer months as well. Visitors utilize the trails that are accessible and can enjoy nature, birds, the history of the marsh, as told by signage around the area.
This area must be restored due to flooding in the past that destroyed signage, viewing platforms, and eroded shorelines where trails once were. Each year, volunteers plan to work on a specific area and have thus far repaired two areas that are now accessible for public access with beautiful, walkable trails, new platforms and historical signage to educate visitors about the area’s flora, fauna and history.
In 2020, the TNT is working with its neighbouring First Nations Community – Fishing Lake First Nations, to gain a deeper perspective into the history of this area, where many of FLFN Elders were born and have many stories to tell. This project will see a bank of “story” signage along the Vatnabyggd Trail, outlining “Stories of the Marsh” – which to this point, have only been told in the European (Icelandic) point of view. TNT feels it is integral to tell the whole story, and start with our first peoples.
Funding from the STA will support Elders protocol (meetings entail gifts of tobacco, honourariums), and the purchase, and installation of 12 11×17” signs with stories to be placed along trails for visitors to gain a better understanding of the history of this area.
The Qu’Appelle Valley Nordic Ski Club mission is to operate a full-service Nordic facility that provides biathlon and cross country ski programming, including all-season training options, for recreational and competitive athletes from Saskatchewan and Western Canada
Its existing facility has been built from scratch over the last five years through the work of committed volunteers and partnerships with local organizations. The club has invested more than $240,000 into the development of our biathlon range, clubhouse, targets, trails, grass mower and trail grooming equipment. The trail system now offers skiing for both classic and skate, for novice and experts, and for casual and competitive skiers for over 100 members and local residents. During the summer months, the trails provide opportunities for hiking, cycling, and running. Each year the club hosts a number of biathlon camps and trail runs.
Currently, trails at QVN are in need of maintenance including leveling to address off-camber slope, eliminating high-spots, a method to capture more snow and sign marking. Funding from the STA will be used to complete this work. In 2020 planned work includes trail levelling, sign marking to aid skiers and hikers, tree planting for wind protection, snow accumulation and habitat, as well as additional snow fence installation.