The Waskahegan Trail is a unique resource that exists only because of the generosity of landowners. Before you set foot on the trail, know the landowner rights and the trail user responsibilities.
Sixteen of us, including two new WTA members from Meetup, enjoyed a lovely day walking the paved trails along both sides of the Sturgeon River. It was a pleasure not to have to worry about snow, ice or mud underfoot. The city of St. Albert has allowed public trails with benches and some natural areas alongside the river to coexist with tasteful development nearby. Here are a few pictures from along our route.
Forty people came out to the Annual General Meeting at the Central Lions Centre. We reported on the activities of the last year and the new projects that are planned for the coming year. You can read the reports here.
Announcements included an overview of the Skyline Trail hike and a new Beyond trip to the Goldeye Centre at Nordegg, from September 17-20. (If you didn’t get a chance to sign up at the AGM, watch the website for an announcement coming soon.)
This was the last year on the board for Karen Bell (Trail Maintenance, Beyond Events) and Sandra Carruthers (Membership Secretary). We thanked them for their dedication and hard work over the last four years. We then elected four new board members, making a total of twelve. They are JoAnne Burek (President), Lin Keehn (Treasurer), Lee Stickles (Webmaster), Jerry Shaw (Archives), Terry Elrod, Johanna Fischer (Secretary), Kim Cassady, and new board members Ellen Homola (Trail Maintenance Coordinator), Sherry Kunkel, Carissa Wasyliw, and Karyn Murray (Membership Secretary). [And just a few days after the AGM, RoseMarie Jalbert returned to Canada ready to take on Permissions. We co-opted RoseMarie as our thirteenth board member.]
Our guest speaker of the evening was Kris Kendell from the Alberta Conservation Association. Kris introduced us to the amphibians of Alberta. We were fascinated to learn about their very specialized requirements for survival. For instance, toads dig themselves in for the winter in one place, breed in another, and spend their summers in yet other space. Kris showed us how they worked with one farmer to maintain a contiguous, undamaged space to allow toads to carry out their life-cycle.
Even city dwellers can support amphibians by keeping yards that are less manicured and more inviting to amphibians. We could help out salamanders, which are known for falling into window wells and drying up. We can screen our window wells or leave a pile of leaf litter and check on them.
By the end of the presentation, we had a new understanding and appreciation of amphibians in our world. Here is one of the two rescue animals that Kris brought to the meeting – a tiger salamander.
Cold yet sunny, with lots of fresh snow on the trail. Eight hardy hikers turned out in a show of solidarity with the wildlife as winter lingers on in Alberta.
Visit Flickr to see all the photos.