Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Cathy Watts Volunteer Award. Curt Schroeder and Tom Landine were co-recipients and have made long-term commitments to the trail community.
Curt’s experience with trails dates back to the 1990s when the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) was the lead agency for the Trans Canada Trail for this province. SPRA formed a Saskatchewan Trails Council of trail stakeholders and Curt was one of the original members of this group. He then went on to organize and become President of the Great Plains Trans Canada Trail, which was responsible for developing the trail in the Regina area.
When the Saskatchewan Trails Council evolved into the Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA), Curt was one of its founding members and became a board member. Serving as President from 2007 to 2011, he led the development of the first strategic plan for trail development in Saskatchewan.
Later, as the Secretary to the Canadian Trails Federation he was nominated to serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the National Trails Coalition (NTC), which was recognized for implementing a dedicated trail funding program for motorized and non-motorized trail users throughout the country. Curt remains an active board member and currently serves as the President of Regina Search and Rescue.
Tom has been involved in trail building for more than 15 years. He began his trail-building career in the Qu’Appelle Valley as a member of the local mountain bike club, the East Qu’Appelle Cartel (EQC). He and a small group of volunteers built some of the best mountain bike trails in Saskatchewan over a period from 2006-18. The trails were also used by the EQC to host an annual mountain bike race from 2008 to 2019.
In 2013, Tom began organizing a project to build a walking/biking trail within the regional park in Esterhazy. He began by endorsing the project, followed by the approval of the town. Next, he led the fundraising efforts, planned a roughed-out provisional route for the first stage, and hired a trail-building contractor. The first section of trail was completed in 2016.
Upon completing the first half of the trail, Tom and a group of volunteers carved out the remaining half of the trail so that it would be a full loop. He even went through the effort of purchasing a mini excavator to build the trail and was successfully able to complete the other half prior to the first snowfall in 2020.
Under his leadership, the trails continue to expand and improve steadily. Every year he organizes a trail clean-up and mowing program which then moves on to track setting in the winter.
First recipient, Curt Schroeder Second recipient, Tom Landine