AGM held over the weekend

Trail builders, administrators and enthusiasts braved the snow-covered streets and made their way to our AGM on Saturday, March 24 in Regina.

Some great conversations took place about issues affecting the trail and outdoor recreation community.

Following the AGM, the new STA executive team is:

President – Saul Lipton
Vice President – David Powell
Treasurer – Sharon Elder
Secretary – Ryan Goolevitch

Newly elected board members include:

Russ Hodgins
Paul Cutting
Trish German

Returning board members include:

Alan Otterbein
John Meed
Curt Schroeder
Pat Rediger (Administrator, Ex-Officio Member
Joe Milligan (Ex-Officio Member)
Andrew Exelby (Ex-Officio Member)

The STA would like to express its gratitude to the following board members who are stepping down:

Margaret Moran
Dean Cattel
Natalie Letts

Thanks for your dedication to improving Saskatchewan’s trail system.

If you didn’t attend the AGM, check out our 2017 STA Annual Report to get up-to-date on our activities over the past year and our goals for the future.

During our AGM, attendees were treated to three diverse presentations, covering everything from trail building to planning family adventures.

Let’s Build a Trail – Joe Milligan, Recreation/Interpretive Specialist, Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport

JoeJoe said that trails are more about building an experience than creating a straight line from point A to B. He discussed the guiding principles that the Ministry reviews when making trail decisions in provincial parks. There are numerous elements the Ministry considers in developing a positive experience for users such as design, environment and safety. When planning and building trails the Ministry has several considerations but the main concern is that they want to give life to that piece of land. He noted there are various building manuals available and the Ministry has a list of criteria it uses before hiring contractors such as the type of equipment they use, the resumes of people involved, etc. Signage is important especially at the trailheads before people begin their treks. Once trails are created it is important to control weeds. Other issues that can emerge are keeping dogs under control while other users are on the trail; keeping cattle off the trail as they can do considerable damage to surface; ensuring proper sized culverts have been used, and water management. Once the trail is completed you need to make sure your trail is special and consider how it is marketed. You may want to consider races and special events to encourage people to use the trail. The Maah Daah Hey trail in North Dakota is a good example of how a trail can be marketed.

Trail Outings: Fun for the Whole Family – Paul Cutting, Travel Blogger

Paul and his wife CaPaulmbri have been avid hikers for many years and operate the blog cuttingintodadventure, which documents many of their trail experiences. When they had a baby they needed to change the way they approached hikes and he shared his insights. Hikes now require much more planning and more supplies are required, but there are still opportunities to have outstanding hikes. He suggested that you pack more water, diaper change pad, diapers, treats, change of clothes, potty and hand sanitizer. He also purchased new gear such as a backpack carrier and chariot. Hikes should be planned with the child’s schedule in mind – if he or she takes afternoon naps, then plan your excursion for the morning. Usually 1.5 to 2 km long hikes are good for kids. Sometimes adding games like hide and seek make it more enjoyable for kids. Taking hikes with toddlers is important because it promotes an active physical lifestyle to kids and can lead to life-long memories.

Fat Tire Trails – Jeff Hehn, Fatlanders Fat Tire Brigade

JeffJeff made a presentation on the fat tire trails they are developing in Saskatoon (the group received a $1,000 grant from STA to assist this project). Their trail project is called St. Barbe (formerly Man of the Trees). Jeff noted that the popularity of fat tire bikes has been on the increase and there are more groomed trails available nation-wide. This is the first groomed fat bike trail in Saskatchewan. The Fatlanders started in 2014 with 50 members and has now increased to 75 members. They offer a variety of club rides to encourage people to try fat bikes. The club has been working with the city and Meewasin Valley Authority on the fat bike trail and has created several km of trail this year. The club uses Trail Forks as a mapping tool for their trail.

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