Town of Rocanville: Outdoor walking trail to be completed by end of June
May 7, 2021, 10:19 am
Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
With the trail markers set, construction is nearly ready to begin on the new outdoor walking trail in Rocanville.
Assistant recreation director for the Town of Rocanville Kelly Woywada says the trail will be located on the edge of town and will be made accessible to all residents.
“There is a wooded area behind the Dream Big Child Care building and we’re clearing out some of the debris and dead trees to make a walking path through there. What we’re hoping to make is basically just a very natural wooded area within the town that is safe and off the streets where you can walk and enjoy some nature,” Woywada said.
“We aren’t sure exactly how long it is, but we are going to walk the trail that I marked and see how long it turns out to be and then see if we need to extend it to make it worthwhile to go out there and walk. When you go for a walk you want something that’s not too long but not too short. You want to go for a decent walk, so we might make it a touch longer.”
The idea was developed during the winter after COVID-19 restrictions prevented a walking club in Rocanville from gathering indoors. After coming up with a well-received solution, Woywada says the idea of a permanent outdoor walking trail was brainstormed.
“We have a lot of walkers in our town, a lot of them. And it’s awesome. Before COVID-19 we had a walking club that would walk in the Rec Centre in the winter and outside in the summer. But this past winter, because of COVID, we couldn’t do that. Town employees went out to the ball diamonds and moved some snow out of the way to make a basic path and it was received so amazingly in the community. Because of this, we started thinking that this is a want in our community.”
The trail will provide a natural alternative to walking on sidewalks and streets.
“This area just had a very natural and outdoorsy feel and a lot of people who will be using it are living in town. There’s plenty of concrete sidewalks and plenty of asphalt roads everywhere, but this will be a nice natural and quiet place to go for a walk,” explained Woywada.
Now that the trail has been marked, Woywada says their first steps before beginning the process of cutting down trees will be to clean up any stray garbage and dead trees.
“We’re going to go in and clean up all the debris that we can. We’re going to clear out all the dead trees, all the garbage in the area, and there are some trees that we will have to take down, but we tried to minimize that as much as we could and steered our trail more towards the dead trees so we could easily remove them.
“For this year until we see how well the trail is used we want to leave the trail as natural as we possibly can and then we will throughout the summer go in there with the lawnmower and the weed whipper to clean and beautify the trail. We also have a picnic table, a bench, lots of birdhouses, birdbaths, bat houses, all of that kind of stuff to keep it as natural as possible.”
Woywada says that the birdhouses, bat houses, and birdbaths are all courtesy of a grant acquired by the rec director.
The picnic table and benches were funded through a grant via Sask Lotteries.
She notes that the picnic table is being made in town as well.
“We have fundraising opportunities coming up, and our rec director has gotten one grant already that has allowed us to get our birdhouses and all that kind of stuff. The town itself is also putting money forward to help get this going as well. We’re hoping with volunteers and staff that this is going to be a very minimal cost.”
The walking trail project was presented to Rocanville Town Council earlier this year and was approved. A total amount of $60,000 was given by the town for the construction of both the walking trail as well as a retention pond that is set to be constructed in the same area.
Woywada says now that the snow is gone, the project can move forward.
“So far things have been good, they’ve been really good. We just had a lot of impatience waiting for it to be dry enough to get out back there. That was our biggest hurdle so far because we wanted to get out there and just get at it. But now it’s nice and dry and we should be able to move forward quite quickly.
“Once we completely finish marking the trail we’ll get ahold of the council and set a date as to when we can get some volunteers to start the process of making the trail. We’ve had some people come and already volunteer their time and say that they want to help us. So now it’s just a matter of getting a date and contacting everybody involved. So we hope to have a bit of a work weekend to start it.”
While the trail will be maintained by the recreation board, Woywada is optimistic that the community will be respectful of the trail when it is completed.
“As we move forward, depending on how much upkeep there is, we may need to ask for help but right now we’re hoping to keep it as minimal as possible.
“I’m hoping that a lot of the maintenance will be our office doing it. That’s one thing about a small community, I don’t expect there to be a lot to do because of how the community helps each other. I see it every day, I see walkers picking up garbage and throwing it out. They’re very into that and it’s very odd to walk somewhere and not see someone picking up garbage and throwing it away. I think a lot of the maintenance will be maintained by the walkers themselves. But I’ll go in there for cutting grass and stuff like that as much as I can.”
Woywada says that so far the costs to make the walking trail has been minimal and the project is expected to be completed by the end of June 2021. Tweet