STA AGM is the ultimate networking event to discuss trails and outdoor recreational activities

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We’re excited to reveal more details about the STA AGM, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the George Bothwell Library in Regina (2965 Gordon Rd).

This is a can’t-miss event that attracts a diverse group of people who are passionate about Saskatchewan’s trail network. While we reflect on the year that was for the STA and our diverse membership base, we also look to the future and discuss ways in which we can continue to improve the trail system in the province.

You will hear from trail administrators who are working tirelessly to maintain their trails and provide recreational opportunities for the public. You will meet the trailblazers who are doing incredible work to promote trails and physical activity. You will learn more about the national trail movement and how our province fits into the picture.

The AGM features a fantastic group of presenters and there’s also an opportunity for interested persons to step forward and join our volunteer board of directors. Whether you’re part of a trail group or just love the outdoors, we’d love to see you at the 2018 STA AGM.

Featuring great presentations…

Let’s Build a Trail – Joe Milligan, Recreation/Interpretive Specialist, Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport
Saskatchewan has thousands of kilometres of trails that can be used for snowmobiling, ATV’ing, hiking, cross-country skiing, cycling, backpacking, walking and paddling. Volunteers play a vital role in the initiating, building and maintaining the province’s diverse trail network. This session will provide an overview of the process involved in creating the vison for a trail, from the construction to the necessity of volunteers to the celebrations that follow during the grand opening.

Trail Outings: Fun for the Whole Family – Paul & Cambri Cutting, Travel Bloggers http://www.cuttingintoadventure.com
Paul & Cambri Cutting love to explore Saskatchewan’s trail network with their young daughter Vaeanna. As a young family in southern Saskatchewan that is always busy, the Cuttings have found that going on trail outings are a great way to stay active and spend quality time as a family. On the family’s blog they share their love of the outdoors, tales of their authentic adventures and tips they learn along the way. In this presentation, you’ll learn about how they plan great trail adventures that involve a toddler.

2018 AGM AGENDA

10:30 a.m.

Welcome from STA President Saul Lipton
Member Roundtable
Presentation by Joe Milligan of the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport on the trail building process
Presentation by Paul & Cambri Cutting on planning great trail adventures that involve a toddler

12 p.m. Lunch
(on your own)

12:45 p.m. Call to Order
Review of the Previous Meeting Minutes
Business Arising From the Minutes
President’s Report
Approval of Financial Statements
Approval of Auditor
Bylaw Amendments
Resolutions
Board of Directors Election
New Business
Adjournment

The holiday trail

A guest post by Russ Hodgins

Christmas day of 2017 was a cold one outside the walls of the cabin full of relatives. The temperature inside was quite pleasant while outside, it was a balmy -31 Celsius. Add the ever present wind of the sunny south, it felt more like -42.

One of the perks of this cabin is the number of trails just a short dash out the back door that climb up and down the hills and through the trees, something most don’t envision when talking about the south. As the turkey cooked, the sun was shining and the trails were calling. A wise person once said “there is no bad weather for running, just bad clothing”, so after piling on the layers and covering as much exposed skin as I could, I was off.Russ H Jan 1

I stopped for a photo to document the insanity, and while the sunglasses seemed like a great idea at the time, they instantly fogged up and were quickly stowed away. The tree cover blocked the majority of the wind and I was quite comfortable in my many layers. With the snow less than ankle deep, the running was easy (relatively speaking) as the sun lit up the country around me.

On a long uphill, some ATV, snowmobile and boot tracks came in from a side trail so I assumed someone had been out the day before. Then, coming around a bend in the trail, I came up behind two kids on a mini snowmobile with dad walking behind, keeping the parade moving. The fourth member of their family was up ahead on the side by side ATV with one dog running and the other comfortably perched on the front seat. We had a short visit, but it was keep moving to keep warm so I passed them and carried on, happy that others were sharing the trail on a less than ideal day.

The next downhill brought more company, this time in the form of a whitetail deer who had been bedded in the sun a short distance off the trail. He was feeling the cold far more than I and had no warm cabin to return to. As such, he was in no hurry to move but simply stood and was watching me. As I didn’t want him to bolt and burn off much needed energy, I did the running and hurried off so he could relax.

The daylight was disappearing but I managed to explore one more trail that took me out onto an open field where a snowy owl took flight from the tree top.

The run ended back at the cabin as the sun was setting with no regrets and a lot of fun had on the trails.

Russ H Jan 2

STA AGM set for March 24 in Regina

Mark your calendars! The STA Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the George Bothwell Library in Regina (2965 Gordon Rd).

The AGM will include a Member Roundtable and a presentation on the fundamentals of trail building from Joe Milligan, recreation/interpretive specialist with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.

We are still confirming the details on other presentations and we will let you know when more details become available.

Learn to snowshoe at Echo Valley

Learn to snowshoe

STA working on State of Sask Trails Report

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The STA will be undertaking a research project to determine what the current state of trails are in the province, identify existing gaps, and develop potential solutions. We will develop an on-line survey that we will distribute to all members, municipalities, resort communities and provincial sport and recreation association.

More in-depth research will be required with key stakeholders such as the Saskatchewan Cycling Association, Saskatchewan Horse Federation, Saskatchewan All-Terrain Vehicle Association, Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association, and Cross Country Saskatchewan. A final aspect of this research is to review how our provincial trail association compares with other provincial associations.

We have currently secured funding from the Community Research Unit at the University of Regina (the same group that funded our Rails to Trails Manual).

Stay tuned for more information.

Support the STA this holiday season

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Help us grow and maintain Saskatchewan’s trail network by supporting the STA this holiday season by making a donation: http://sasktrails.ca/getinvolved/

Through our popular Members Grant Program, grants are awarded every year to our member organizations – such as the Ed Spratt Trail, the Whiteswan Snow Hawks Club and the Trans Canada Trail – to aid them in their trail development and maintenance initiatives. The program has been able to help create new and rehabilitate existing trails, develop trail studies, install signage and pay for trail improvements – such as benches and maintenance equipment -across the province.

Of course, this has only been possible thanks to the generous support we have received from businesses and individuals across the province. We are hoping you will help us continue to support these worthwhile trail initiatives and create a lasting trails legacy in the province.

Visit our Get Involved page – http://sasktrails.ca/getinvolved/ – to learn more about how you can get involved. Please note that all donations of more than $20 are eligible for a charitable tax receipt. As an added incentive, we are happy to offer a complementary STA t-shirt to anyone who makes a minimum donation of $100.

What to do when encountering a bear on the trail

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Recently, we received an interesting question from Moosomin Regional Park. Trail officials noted that there are bears in the park on occasion and they like hanging around the trails as that’s where it’s the quietest and there’s the largest supply of berries. Because of this, some people are worried to use the trails because they’re concerned about encountering bears.

Encountering a bear is something that is certainly possible while exploring the province’s trail system. So what should you do in the event of an encounter? The Government of Saskatchewan has a document called Living in Bear Country that provides some great information: http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/66/89520-English.pdf

Another point not brought up in the document is the use of bells. Upon contacting the STA, Moosomin noted that it had received suggestions to hand out “bear” bells. They were told the noise can cause the bears to leave the area. This question prompted an interesting discussion among the STA board of directors.

The STA would like to stress that there is no evidence to support, in any way, that bells they will deter a bear encounter. Bringing a bell on a hike will only provide a false sense of security. The STA advises that talking in normal voices will normally move the bears away from human contact. If the bears are habituated to humans and do not move away or have had access to garbage, we would suggest you contact the local conservation officers to possibly set up a trap and relocate the bear. If you administrate a trail where there have been beer sightings, you may want to post signs at trail access points and\or trail heads.

Trailhead Canada 2017 summit fast approaching

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Join trail enthusiasts from across the country in Gatineau and Ottawa from Nov. 21-23, for the Trail Head Canada summit, a national celebration of trails, with outdoor events, activity tutorials and educational trail sessions.

Trailhead Canada will bring Canadians who develop, manage and benefit from recreational trails, together. It explores exciting national directions to engage Canadians in the building, using and promoting trails.

At Trailhead Canada, trail experts and leaders will:

  • Develop a National Trails Strategy, for use in framing provincial and national goals;
  •  Share Canada’s trail success stories from the local, regional, provincial and national levels;
  • Explore national best practices in trail building that enable clubs, volunteers, and professionals to build the world’s best trails;
  • Discuss trail trends, new activities, changing demographics, trail health, and the growth in trail tourism;
  • Present a Canadian Youth Expo, to engage youth in becoming the trail leaders of the future;
  • Honour trail traditions and knowledge to develop strong working relationships between all Canadian peoples;
  • Expand Canada’s trail economy, through tourism, investment, and promotion, and
  • Present outdoor interactive education provides public awareness of the activities that Canadians and visitors can do on Canadian trails.

Trailhead Canada consists of three parts: the conference, community events, and trail-sector education. Generously supported by Parks Canada and other national educators in outdoor recreation.

For more information, visit https://trailheadcanada.com.

Proudly supported by Parks Canada.

Parks Canada

 

STA increases funding available through Members Grant Program

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The STA is making it easier to access funds for trail projects in the province. Through the Members Grant Program, grants of up to $1,000 are now available.

These grants can be used for maintenance projects such as updating maps, GPS trails, fixing signs, purchasing maintenance tools, etc.

These grants are only available to current SaskTrails members. Some of the eligibility criteria include length of membership and how long you will be committed to the organization in the future. All applications are reviewed by a volunteer committee.

The deadline to apply is Dec.31, 2017. For more information, visit http://sasktrails.ca/trail-builders/#funding.

 

New STA Trail Ambassador: Fletcher family

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Kaiden, Brian, Darby-Jayne and Denise Fletcher.

The STA is pleased to welcome the Fletcher family as the newest STA Trail Ambassador.

The Fletchers live in Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park Cottages. Denise and Brian homeschool their children, which allows them a great deal of freedom to explore where they live and beyond. One of their favourite family activities is exploring the trails.

They love trail running, hiking, kayaking, fishing, ice fishing, riding bikes, metal detecting, tenting, shed hunting, boating, photography, golfing, swimming, playing board games, sitting around campfires and visiting with friends.

The family believes that wilderness therapy works is important with the sedentary lifestyle plaguing current/future generations. They feel that it couldn’t be more important to promote and support. Engaging youth in the natural environment is close to their hearts. They have a passion for learning as much as they can about flora and fauna. They also love learning about the rich paleontological, geographical, cultural and social history of Saskatchewan.

STA Trail Ambassadors are trail enthusiasts who represent the STA out on the trails by wearing our gear, promoting their adventures on social media and writing the occasional guest blog to be published on our website. If you would be interested in the possibility of becoming a trail ambassador and winning a free STA t-shirt, send an email to info@sasktrails.ca.