Kananaskis could use some help from its friends, and Friends of Kananaskis is looking for people to get involved in our Volunteer Trail Care program.
Our program partners with the Government of Alberta to ensure safe, appropriate efforts to provide care and stewardship at the highest level of practice. Our projects engage volunteers at all levels of ability and intensity, and we provide everyone with a desire to give back the chance to leave it as good or better than they found it.
Think of our trail days as “hiking with benefits.”
Help us Move Mountains
Trail care days run throughout the summer on both weekends and weekdays. Groups can arrange for special project days tailored to fit their schedule.
Strength in Numbers
If you have a group, company, club or team, we provide custom opportunities to contribute together. These events foster team and community spirit and are tailored to make logistics easy. Read more here.
Take the Lead
If you are interested in greater involvement and inspiring others, consider a leadership role as a Crew Leader and enroll in our Volunteer Crew Leader Training courses normally held in the fall
Here’s how to get started:
If you wish to get involved, we would love to have you. Sign up here, and don’t forget to get on our newsletter mailing list! Or contact us by phone at 403 678 5593. You can also find us on Facebook at Friends of Kananaskis Country, or follow us on Twitter at FriendsofKC
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure that a few of them are dirt”
Post Flood Trail Care Days:
While not much has changed about the general way we hold trail care days as described here, much has changed about how our post-flood workdays are being scheduled. For instance, we no longer have a set fixed schedule of trail care events.
The Friends have participated in meetings in both 2013 and 2014 where Parks staff looked at the damage and reviewed trail repair priorities. Some of these are significant; for instance, in 2014, we executed multiple day trail work projects in the Ribbon Creek, Pocaterra and Elbow/Sheep areas.
Our July 2013 Heart Creek project is a good example of what we believe will be the new “norm” for flood restoration trail care projects. First, Parks staff spent 5 days roughing in a new trail route and making it safe for volunteers to help. They used heavy equipment to find, dig up and put back 6 of the 7 bridges. The Friends (and others) were then called, and put in 7 project days in a row with over 60 volunteers doing work from easy to very hard. Then 50 Air Cadets came in for 2 days to do final trail manicuring. A similar project was done on Ribbon Creek in August 2014.
Normally, the Friends likes to give a few weeks notice for trail care projects. For Heart Creek, the request for volunteers came in to the Friends at 10 PM on a Friday, went out to our members at 10 AM Saturday, and 12 Friends showed up on a rainy Monday morning (though the day was cancelled due to weather). The first few days were generally “Grizzly” style tough work, and the latter days were easier, though there were still bits of hard work.
Many trails were severely damaged by the floods, so much so that Parks needs to prep them before volunteers can help. In 2014, Parks spent early May training their trail crews, and late May starting that heavy equipment work. But the work and time needed to do that heavy work is somewhat unpredictable. Accordingly, we had little notice for work projects in 2013, and it was only slight better in 2014. Our 2012 and earlier practice of setting up one or two pre-planned trail care days per month is no longer viable.
The Canmore Nordic Centre was spared the brunt of the flood damage. Historically, we had done one day a month there with 2-3 projects each day. After doing flood restoration work in 2013, now we are back to ongoing trail development for specific events (like the 24 Hours of Adrenalin), or supporting general trail maintenance.
So here’s what you can expect for the 2015 and beyond:
- Limited (1-3 week) advanced notice for work project calls;
- Several day projects working on one specific trail or area;
- Very hard work at the start of these multi day projects, and easier work as the project goes on;
- Last minute switches in location on work projects;
- Increased project calls in the Elbow/Sheep areas.