Saskatchewan Trails Annual General Meeting Info

Saskatchewan Trails Annual General Meeting
7 p.m., Thursday, March 24 via ZOOM

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7:00 p.m. Welcome from the STA
7:05 p.m. Introductions
7:10 p.m. Meewasin Valley Authority (Meewasin) App
Amy Wall, Manager, Marketing and Fund Development, Meewasin
Meewasin has been working alongside many organizations, elders and stakeholders on a new project called the Meewasin Indigenous experiences project, which led to a new Meewasin App. This program will enhance the First Nation and Métis history and stories found within the Meewasin Valley. This is the first project of its kind and was created to provide authentic and interactive educational content for local and international tourists wanting to learn more about the area.

7:20 p.m. Accessible Trails
Lisa Franks, former Paralympian, and trail enthusiast
Sports and the outdoors have always been a part of Lisa Franks’ life. After a spinal cord injury left her paralyzed at age 14, Lisa turned her sights to wheelchair sports. In wheelchair racing, she won four gold medals and one silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games and two gold medals at the Athens Paralympics in 2004. Looking for a new challenge, she switched her focus to wheelchair basketball. In 2006 she became the first woman from Saskatchewan to be named to the Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team. That season she won a gold medal at the 2006 World Championship with Team Canada. She also represented Canada in wheelchair basketball at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. After a severe shoulder injury ended her elite sports career, Lisa discovered adaptive mountain biking. In 2020 she formed the Saskatchewan Adaptive Mountain Bike (aMtb) Club with the goal of eliminating the financial barrier of purchasing equipment for new athletes. The club loans out aMtb bikes and takes new riders on introductory trail rides. In 2021, Lisa mapped several parts of the Trans Canada trail for accessibility in partnership with the TCT and AccessNow and she became an advisory member of the Saskatoon Trail Alliance. She hopes to grow the sport of aMtb and see continued improvement of accessibility in the outdoors.
7:50 p.m. Call to Order for Business Meeting
Approval of the Agenda
Approval of the Previous Meeting Minutes
Business Arising From the Minutes
President’s Report
Approval of Financial Statements
Approval of Auditor
Bylaw Amendments
Board of Directors Election
New Business

8:30 p.m. (approx.) Adjournment

New Projects approved for Wascana Trails and Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

The STA is partnering with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Parks, Culture, and Sport with funding support from the Trans Canada Trail to enhance the trails at Wascana Trails and at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.


Wascana All Person Nature Interpretive Trail and Viewing Point

The project at Wascana Trails consists of three elements:

1. Creation of Canada’s first “All Persons” nature interpretive trail that will be suitable for individuals with mobility and visual challenges. It will also be appropriate for strollers, families, seniors, and anyone who wants to enjoy nature. The approximately 550 meters long nature trail will include kiosks and interpretive panels as well as signage for the visually impaired.

2. Wascana Trails has a natural land protrusion that extends east from the parking lot to a beautiful vista. Repairs will be done to the Viewing Area and the 147-meter-long pathway to create Wheelchair accessibility and add features for those with visual impartments. A railing will wrap around the front of the hill to prevent people from walking down the slope.

3. Refurbishing 2400 meters of the existing Trans Canada Trail and its connectors


Cypress Hills Trails –Trans Canada Trail and Feeder Trails

The project at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park contains the following elements:

1. Various enhancements and repairs will be done to existing trails including the creation of backcountry picnic sites, trail reroutes, boardwalk and footbridge replacements, tree removal, and extensions of existing trail pathways.

2. New Trail Head Signage that includes pertinent info and trail waypoints. Two new trailheads will be created in the West Block of the park at Conglomerate Cliff and another area.

3. Creation of a new path as an “All Season Trail” for winter activity access

Introducing the Canadian Trails Federation

Through our membership in the Canadian Trails Federation, the Saskatchewan Trails Association represents the interests of Saskatchewan on the national level.

The Canadian Trails Federation-Fédération Canadienne des Sentiers (CTF-CFS) is a national not-for-profit organization that represents the interests of provincial and territorial trails organizations across Canada. Their mission is to enhance the recreational trails network in Canada by sharing information, providing leadership and coordination, and by building consensus within the trail’s community, both nationally and internationally. More detailed information on the CTF can be found at:

CTF Vision Statement

The Canadian Trails Federation is a united voice for trails throughout Canada which will link communities and meet the needs of diverse cultures and trail users for their outdoor recreation and healthy living.

CTF Mission Statement

Canadian Trails – Sentiers Canadiens – Working for Canadian Trails

The Canadian Trails Federation will:

  • Promote the recreational use of trails for healthy living and the enjoyment of:
  • Canada’s unique landscapes,
  • Create the conditions which will lead to the development of sustainable trails,
  • Facilitate the sharing of information and resources,
  • Promote the responsible use of trails.

What the CTF does

The CTF represents the interests of provincial and territorial trail organizations across Canada.

At its bi-monthly directors’ conference call meetings and in its annual general meetings, which are held in different provinces each year, the CTF sets out to do the following:

  • Share information on trail issues,
  • Provide leadership and coordination for trail issues at the national level,
  • Help to build consensus within trails.

STA Past President Saul Lipton currently serves on the CTF Board.

Potential Funding Sources

A key aspect of the STA’s mission is to assist local trail groups in developing, maintaining, and marketing their trails. Since funding is essential in any project, various potential funding sources, including grants, are summarized below for those needing additional resources.


Saskatchewan Trails Association Funding Programs

MEMBERS GRANT PROGRAM – Funding grants of up to $1,000 are available through an application process (annual deadline: Jan. 31). The purpose of this program is to assist members in maintaining or enhancing trails. Its focus is on building new trails or undergoing maintenance projects such as updating maps, fixing signs, purchasing maintenance tools, or adding GPS capabilities. The STA Member Grant Program is available to current members of the STA. Other factors in the adjudication process include the length of membership and long-term commitment to the STA. The application document can be found at:

PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVE PROGRAM – Third-party funding is allocated to dedicated trail projects. These funds are obtained through partners willing to spend dedicated funds on trails such as the Trans Canada Trail and the National Trails Coalition.

THE CHARITABLE STATUS PROGRAM – Fundraising assistance is available by allowing donations to be made to a project through the Saskatchewan Trails Association. This option works by giving a donation to the STA, who will ensure it is delivered to the program of your choice. Charitable receipts are available.


Trans Canada Trail Projects:

Applications for funding through the Capital Improvement Plan are accepted on an ongoing basis (no deadlines but all projects must be completed by March 31, 2022). Prior to applying, groups are required to contact Trans Canada Trail and the project must be ready for implementation, with all requirements in place (plans, permits, approvals, etc.). Detailed information can be found at

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR CONSULTATION, DESIGN PLANNING OR STUDIES– TCT may provide financial support for projects such as engineering, environmental impact assessments, etc., up to 50% of the eligible expenses. The maximum contribution for these types of projects is limited to $30,000 and all studies that receive a contribution from TCT must be a precursor to a construction project.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR CONSTRUCTION – The TCT may fund the construction of a project up to 35% of eligible expenses. The maximum contribution amounts are limited to:

  • Trail construction (without infrastructure): $ 75,000 / km
  • Major infrastructure (bridge, retaining wall): $ 250,000 / unit
  • Minor infrastructure and amenities (parking lot, washroom, access point): $ 50,000

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR TRAIL SECTOR INITIATIVES – TCT may provide financial support for Trail maintenance projects, or other projects that support the trail sector and local communities on the Trail, up to 100% of the eligible expenses. The maximum contribution for these types of projects is limited to $5,000, per year, per group. This limit can increase to $10,000 in the case of unique regional or structured projects, carried out with other partners.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR SIGNAGE AND WAYFINDING – Different funding programs are available for installation and maintenance of Wayfinders, regulatory and safety signage, trailheads, and interpretive panels. The maximum contribution from the TCT ranges from $50 – $1000 depending on the type of signage.



Other Funding Opportunities:

PARKS FOR ALL ACTION GRANT – Funded by Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, applicants can apply for grants to a maximum of $2,000. The grant is a commitment to creating Canadian parklands and waters that support healthy nature and healthy people. Applications should clearly outline how the initiative will engage people and result in long term benefits. Initiatives may include events, programs, studies, and projects. One application will be accepted from an Active SPRA member: Cities, Towns, Rural Municipalities, First Nation Communities, Provincial Recreation Associations, Tribal Councils, Sport/Culture/Recreation Districts, Métis Region and Regional/Urban Park Authorities. Although the application for 2021 has closed, further information can be found at:

COMMUNITY GRANT PROGRAM – The Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) provides a grant of up to $25,000 per local program or $50,000 per provincial program to support: Healthy growth and development of children and youth; Individual and community wellbeing; Non-profit and community leadership. Applicants must be an incorporated Saskatchewan non-profit organization whose primary purpose and activities are to benefit Saskatchewan communities; or A municipality, health region, school or school board proposing community based, community-led programs; and be in good standing with the CIF. The deadline for application is October 1, 2021. Further information on the program can be found at:

CANADA REVITALIZATION FUND – Contributions will be determined based on the minimum amount required to carry out a project and may represent up to 75% of total eligible costs. The fund aims to provide support to adapt community spaces and assets so that they may be used safely in accordance with local public-health guidelines; and build or improve community infrastructure to encourage Canadians to re-engage in and explore their communities and regions. Eligible applicants include not-for-profit organizations or charities, any municipal or regional government, or bodies providing infrastructure services to communities, and Indigenous-led not-for-profits or organizations. Further information on the program can be found at:

The Benefits of Membership

Becoming a member of the STA is not only a rewarding experience by helping to maintain Saskatchewan’s trails, but it also gives you benefits not offered to non-members, including funding opportunities, trail promotion and advocacy,  voting privileges, and several other resources such as trail maps, land negotiation agreements, etc. Here’s a look at the benefits:

TRAIL FUNDING – All STA members are eligible to receive funding for trail-related projects through our trail building programs, including the Partnership Initiative Program, which allocates third-party funding to dedicated trail projects; The Charitable Status Program, which allows donations through the STA to a specific project; and Members Trail Grant Program, which provides grants of up to $1000 per year for trail maintenance and development.

TRAIL PROMOTION AND ADVOCACY – The STA will share any news and upcoming events that you may want to feature on its website and through social media. This news can also be shared through the STA newsletter, Tales from the Trails, and we also work closely with the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (S.P.R.A.), which publishes  Recreation Works.

SASKATCHEWAN TRAILS DAY – The STA is the lead organization that uses this occasion to raise public awareness about the value of recreational trails and to encourage communities to celebrate seasonal trail use.

RESOURCES – STA is responsible for developing several resources for the trail community, including trail maps and guidelines and information on trail etiquette, bridge design, and land negotiation agreements.

INSURANCE – The STA receives insurance from the OASIS Outdoor Adventure & Sport Insurance Solutions Inc. Established in 2007, OASIS provides programs for local, provincial, and national associations and their members with a particular focus on not-for-profit. STA members can save hundreds of dollars on a policy by indicating they are members when they book their insurance. Members can contact Shelley Wandler by phone (1-866-979-2747) or email ( for more information.

  • OASIS offers the following services:
  • Commercial and General Liability Renewal;
  • Certificate of Insurance Request;
  • Special Events Liability Insurance;
  • Application for Groomers and Related Equipment;
  • Application for Equipment;
  • Liability Insurance Application for ATV/Quad Group;
  • General Liability Insurance Application for Bike Safety Instructors (For Safety Training Purposes Only); and
  • General Liability Insurance Application for Bike Safety Instructors (Non-Motorized) (For Safety Training Purposes Only)


Membership Levels:

All membership levels are entitled to membership privileges, including the right to attend and vote at members’ meetings. Saskatchewan Trails Membership can be purchased or renewed on our website (


  • An individual who is at least 18 years of age


  • Incorporated or unincorporated associations of individuals in a particular geographic area in Saskatchewan
  • Trails groups-members who build and/or maintain recreational trails in Saskatchewan.
  • User group-members of which use recreational trails in Saskatchewan.


  • Any provincial association

LIFE MEMBERS ($550.00)

  • Any person whom the Board of Directors deems appropriate.
    • Lifetime of the recipient.


  • Persons of the following can be admitted to associate member status:
  • Government of Canada
  • Province of Saskatchewan
  • Municipal corporation
  • A First Nation organization
  • A regional economic development authority (REDA)
  • Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM)
  • Community recreational associations
  • Any corporation

An associate member is entitled to all membership privileges, including the right to nominate an individual to attend meetings of the members on its behalf, but excluding the right to vote at such meetings.

Winners Announced for STA Photo Contest!

Thanks to everyone for participating in the 2021 STA Photo Contest. We received over 800 entries and were very impressed with the quality of submissions. Even though the contest is over, send us your photos and we’ll continue to promote trails on our social media accounts.


Congratulations to overall winner Kerri Ludvigsen for this outstanding photo of the trail at Ness Creek.


Our honorable mentions go to:  Jeff Thorlakson (Fort a la Corne) and Kate Luff (Prince Albert National Park)



To show our appreciation, we wanted to thank you for all the support you have given us and wanted to share with you some of the other great photos we have received.

Photo credit: Tasha Kennedy (Silver Lake Regional Park)

Photo credit: The Milphs (Nicolle Flats)

Photo credit: Graeme (Fish Lake)

Photo credit: Holly Burgess (Narrow Hills Provincial Park)

Photo credit: Cheerie Constantino (Fairy Hill)

Photo credit: Karla Rasmussen (Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park)

Photo credit: Toby Cote (location unknown)

Photo credit: Mike Bender (location unknown)

Photo credit: Indrasish Banerjee (Claybank)

Photo credit: Gloria Pawliuk (Cypress Hills)

Churchill River Water Legacy Project

Although the COVID outbreak has delayed last year’s intended installation date. The STA is happy to announce that the first Urine Diverting Vermicomposting Toilet (UDVT) purchased with the funds raised through donations, raffle tickets, and the Give a Sh*! event has finally been successfully installed by volunteers on Barker Island along a popular canoe route in northwest Saskatchewan.

Pristine lakes, such as Barker Lake, are connected by countless falls, rapids, and ledges as the Churchill River courses through the rugged landscape on its 1,600-km journey to Hudson Bay. Throw in huge areas of spectacular boreal wilderness with a rich and storied history, and it’s easy to see how the Churchill River system enthralls thousands of canoeists, kayakers, and anglers who return year after year. It is also home to multiple Indigenous communities whose people continue to use the land and waterways.

Since much of the river system is in the Canadian shield, with all this activity, one of the biggest challenges in backcountry sites is dealing with human waste. In 2019, the STA partnered with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, Churchill River Outfitters, and the local community to launch the Churchill River Water Trail Legacy Project. This project aims to remedy the lack of pleasant toilet facilities which lead to human waste and remnants of toilet paper being scattered throughout the landscape causing long-term environmental consequences and negative visitor experiences.

After extensive research into this challenge, a realistic and cost-effective solution was found in using a UDVT, manufactured by Toilet Tech Solutions (TTS). The technology separates the waste streams to allow for successful composting and has been proven to work through peer-reviewed academic research and in the field experiences. The system is innovative, leading-edge, and reliable.

We believe that the Churchill River Water Legacy Project is an initiative that will facilitate stewardship and lead to a cleaner environment along with providing an enhanced visitor experience. This project is a wonderful opportunity to promote trail development in the north and showcase how important trails are in every community to both the natural environment, its inhabitants, and travelers.

Although human waste is rarely spoken of, the problem of dealing with it is a serious issue in the backcountry and in remote sites. Compounded by increased visitation, the problem can have lasting negative impacts on the environment and create very poor visiting experiences. The installation of the first UDV toilet at Barkers Island will help improve the outdoor recreation experience along canoe routes in northern Saskatchewan.
Finally, the STA would like to thank all of our wonderful partners, volunteers, and donors involved in the project who made it so successful.


A volunteer standing beside the newly installed UDV toilet on Barker Island.


Many thanks to the volunteers who were involved in installing the UDV toilet on Barker Island.

Trail Etiquette 2021

With the weather finally warming up, Saskatchewan residents are spending more time outside this summer to get a breath of fresh air away from the city. But with so many people on the trails, it’s important that they remain in good shape. We are reminded that trail etiquette involves safe and courteous interaction with other travelers, but also includes proper care of the paths and nature.

Responsible outdoor recreation is outlined in the following sections. Feel free to review this guide or even print it out before your trip and carry it with you:

1. Research and Plan Ahead
Adequate trip planning and preparation helps hikers travel safely and have fun, while simultaneously minimizing damage to the land. When planning a trip, destinations and activities should be chosen based on the expectations, skills, and abilities of participants. Doing a bit of research beforehand is also advantageous as reviewing maps, considering the weather, and knowing the regulations of an area can help prevent awkward or even dangerous situations on the trails.

2. Bring the Essentials
Hikers should bring equipment and clothing for comfort and safety. A hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent along with proper footwear and suitable clothing for the weather are a must when traveling. Food and water along with bags for storing trash should also be brought to keep you fueled during the hike. For longer journeys, survival kits and first aid kits should be carried along with a whistle. When cycling or trail riding, a helmet, and other protective equipment should be worn properly.

3. Travel Properly
Many of us have veered off the trail to dodge mud puddles and incoming traffic. The action seems harmless at the time but places the quality of our outdoor experiences and the recreational resources we enjoy at risk. Always be alert and watch out for poisonous plants, wildlife, and falling rocks. Trail use is recommended whenever possible, and it is important to learn the rules of the ‘road’. Firstly, walk, ride or cycle in single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy unless passing on the left. Secondly, individuals climbing up a hill have the right of way if you are climbing down. Thirdly, it is important to remember that bike riders yield to hikers and horseback riders; hikers yield to horseback riders. Lastly, even without COVID distancing measures in place, try to keep space between yourself and other hikers on the trail.

4. Environmental Stewardship
“Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints”, it is essential that we take all our trash back with us when returning home from the trails; do not assume that anything is biodegradable. It is equally important to protect the environment by not disturbing it: Leave wood, rocks, flowers, and other natural resources on the trail so others can enjoy them and avoid making loud noises. Along with not disturbing plants or wildlife, removal of archaeological artifacts, dead wood, fossils, or other geological features is not permitted and is even considered illegal under certain jurisdictions. Additional rules govern the construction of campsites. Do not build structures, fire rings, furniture, or dig trenches, and fires are not allowed on the trails except in campsites that approve it. Additionally, make sure your campsite is at least 60 meters away from water sources and bury human waste at least 100 meters away.

5. Travelling with Children or Pets
Children enjoy the trails just as adults do. To ensure their safety, dress children in bright colors for easier locating and bring backpack carriers for longer trips. It is also important to note that disposable diapers should not be buried or otherwise discarded improperly. Though we all love our furry friends’ company, pets are best left at home. If you do bring them, keep them on a leash, away from the water, and bring doggy bags to clean up after them.

After reading this guide, I hope you are more knowledgeable about trail etiquette and will follow the guidelines moving forward. If everyone continues to do their part, the fun will be guaranteed, and Saskatchewan Trails will continue to be available for years to come.

Preparing for Tick Season

With the arrival of summer and warm temperatures, an increasing number of people are venturing outside to enjoy the trails. Unfortunately, the nice weather also means that tick season is upon us. The creepy crawlers are typically active in Saskatchewan between April and July with the peak happening in May and June.

Ticks are eight-legged arthropods (related to spiders) that need a blood meal from a vertebrate host to complete their life cycle. When ticks feed, they can transmit tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease to people and their pets.
The most common tick in Saskatchewan is the American Dog tick. There are also some areas that have Rocky Mountain Ticks and Winter ticks (moose tick). These species are usually active from mid-April to the end of July and cannot transmit Lyme disease to people. Blacklegged ticks, which can cause Lyme disease, are fortunately rare in Saskatchewan. Introduced by migratory birds in early spring, blacklegged ticks mature into adults and remain active throughout fall, particularly in tall grass, brush, or wooded areas.

Ticks move by crawling and running, but do not leap or fly. They cling to grasses and grab on to hosts as they walk by. Ticks can attach to any part of the human body but are often found in hard-to-see areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp.

In April of last year, the Government of Saskatchewan, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, launched eTick (, an image-based tick identification platform. Residents of Saskatchewan can submit photographs of ticks found on humans or animals using the eTick online system to receive timely identification of the type of tick and information on the risk of exposure to tick-borne diseases.

To prevent tick bites:

  •  Ticks like warm, sunny days so go out when it’s colder if you really want to avoid them.
  • Early mornings are also a good time to avoid ticks as they like the sunnier parts of the day.
  •  Wear pants, long-sleeved shirts, and shoes that do not expose your bare feet.
  • Pull socks over your pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
  • Wear light-coloured clothes so ticks can be seen easily.
  •  Use insect repellents that contain DEET or Icaridin. Apply repellent to clothes as well as your skin. Always read and follow the directions on the label. Some repellents may have age restrictions.
  • In Canada, clothing that has been treated with the insecticide permethrin has been approved for use by people over the age of 16.
  •  Shower or bathe as soon as possible after being outside to wash off loose ticks and inspect for attached ticks.
  •  Do “full-body” tick checks after being outside on yourself, your children, and your pets.

If you find a tick attached to your skin or on your pet:

  •  Carefully remove it with fine-tipped tweezers and grasp the tick’s mouthparts as close to the skin as possible.
  •  Pull slowly upward and out with firm, steady pressure.
  •  Be careful not to squeeze, crush or puncture the body after removal.
  • Do not put Vaseline, gasoline, or other harmful substances on an attached tick.
  • Submit photos of the tick using the eTick system, and please keep ticks in a secure container until you receive the identification results. Ticks can be euthanized by placing them in a bag and storing it in the freezer for 24 hours.


Additional Information can be found at:

A Saskatchewan Oasis: Fairy Hill Trail

If you are looking for a winter trail to experience over the holidays, Nature Conservatory Canada’s (NCC) “Fairy Hill” just 30 minutes North of Regina is the perfect city escape. Fairy Hill is a 90-minute hike that is a part of the Qu’Appelle valley.

The trail varies from flat areas to hills and includes wetlands, grasslands, and riparian slopes.  There is also many nature-spotting opportunities of birds, deer, and moose. There is one particular hill that overlooks the valley, and it is the perfect lookout spot to soak in the beautiful sights. There is signage along the way so you can stop and learn about the land and the history of the trail.

Make sure to keep an eye out for cattle that may be present on the property at various times throughout the year. If you see them give them their space and keep pets on a leash.