A busy summer on the trails

We have been working on some exciting projects this summer as we continue to serve as the contract manager of the Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA).

The summer began with Saskatchewan Trails Day on June 3, an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the beautiful trails in our province. Through social media posts, we showcased people enjoying trails and we also highlighted how trails promote: healthy living, economic development, tourism and environmental preservation.

Leading up to Sask Trails Day, we shared tips with the public on how to make the most of the event and we sent out a media release province-wide. We were able to book an interview with CBC Saskatchewan for Dorthy Rhead, one of our founding members. Rheads talked about the trails she has hiked over the years and discussed the benefits she receives from hiking.

Here’s one of her quotes from the article:

“It disconnects you from the rat race is what it does. It sort of rejuvenates you, it makes you feel alive. It puts everything aside that’s been bothering you, or things that really don’t have that much bearing on life in general — puts it all aside and you go out there and you breathe the fresh air and you look at all the beauty around you. It’s just very, very relaxing.”

To read the rest of the article, visit http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/saskatchewan-trails-day-3-hikes-to-try-1.4145066.

As part of the Sask Trails Day and with June being Recreation and Parks Month in Saskatchewan, we also launched an STA photo contest, encouraging people to take photos of their favorite trails and submit them using the hashtag #SaskTrailsDay. The best photo, as selected by the STA board of directors, will receive a prize package valued at $200. The contest has received some great entries so far:

This summer, we have also launched our Saskatchewan Rails to Trails manual. This 200-page manual will assist organizations that are interested in converting abandoned rail lines into usable trails. It is free for all STA members and costs $20 for the general public: http://sasktrails.ca/trail-builders/#rails. This document supports the vision of the STA to “provide support to local trail clubs including resource materials, education programs regarding trail development, facilitate communication among trail clubs and fundraising.”

In creating this manual, we reviewed Saskatchewan rails-to-trails projects in all stages of development and interviewed people involved in those projects. We then developed step-by-step guidelines and compiled links to resources.

We have had the pleasure of welcoming Shayla to the STA team as a summer student. Shayla has been extremely active on social media promoting trails and also helped us launch an Instagram account. She has also been working on our next major project: the STA Trail Directory, which will include quality maps, GPS coordinates and detailed descriptions of many of Saskatchewan’s trails and their nearby amenities.

Through the STA, we are proud to continue highlighting Saskatchewan’s beauty and encouraging people to be physically active.

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