Three local trail groups get grants

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Three volunteer groups are building and maintaining trails in the Slave Lake and Smith area. All three recently received grants to help with their work.

Trans Canada Trail

Two of these trails are part of the Trans Canada Trail which connects the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans.

Woods and Water Recreational Trails Association is building the North Shore Trail west of Marten Beach and heading toward the centre of Lesser Slave Lake. Eventually, the goal is to connect this with a trail built by another group starting in Grouard to the narrows.

Woods and Water is based out of Slave Lake. It received $1,250 from a Trail Care Grant from Trans Canada Trail.

This went toward the trail care day on June 1, when the group held a free barbecue and cleared brush off the trail.

An earlier grant for $50,000 will go toward a major culvert repair some time after June 15, says Lloyd Sawatzky, group president.

The group has built 18 km of multi-use (foot, bicycle, horse, and OHV) trail.

This is between one third and a half of the full length, says Sawatzky. The group has mapped out the next 18 km.

“It’s following the lakeshore,” says Sawatzky, using old cutlines and access roads.

Alberta Trail Net is supplying money for mulching, which is the next step.

“The problem we have is volunteers,” says Sawatzky. “We don’t get enough volunteers to get a lot done.”

The Athabasca Recreational Trails Association also received a $1,250 Trail Care Grant to update some signs on the Moose Portage end.

This group has built the Peace River Trail between Athabasca and Mirror Landing, near Smith. This trail allows the same uses as the North Shore Trail.

“We’d sure like more people,” says Lynn Jewell, association president, speaking of the need for more volunteers.

The trail is mostly usable, except a bridge is out on the Moose Portage end. The estimated replacement cost is $350,000 to $500,000.

“We need to get huge funding for that one,” Jewell says.

Nine Mile ski trails

Nine Mile Recreation Society builds and maintains the Nine Mile Creek Recreation Area – a network of cross country ski trails by Wagner.

In May, the Government of Alberta gave the society a grant of $17,000 for “ski trail safety improvements for seniors,” says the Government of Alberta news release.

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