Birkebeiner 2018: Food and Good Cheer

More than a dozen Waskahegan Trail volunteers were at the Birkebeiner Ski Festival last Saturday in the Blackfoot Recreational Area. The volunteers prepared and handed out food, refreshments, and encouragement at the “Last Chance” food station at the Meadow Shelter.

We’ve been operating the food station every year since the Birkebeiner began in 1985.

According to Bonnie Guo, “The snow was perfect and the weather was not too cold.” It was a great experience, as you can tell from these pictures.

You’ll find more pictures on Flickr.

Midwinter Whitemud Creek

Although the days are short and cold in Alberta’s midwinter, the clear skies and fresh snow can offer up brilliant daytime scenery to invigorate the senses.

Our hike in Whitemud Creek between Snow Valley and John Janzen Nature Centre gave us just that.

Whitemud Creek

snow fence Whitemud CreekA thick layer of snow had fallen just two days before, burying once and for all the ice that we had been struggling on for weeks.

The crisp temperature kept the snow white and firm, making it the perfect backdrop to display long sharp shadows, a feature of our northerly location.

On the path, we ran into a person who pointed us to a pair of owls nesting in a hollow in the tree above us. That’s right!—a nest of eggs in January. Just above our heads.

Birdhouse Whitemud Creek
Birdhouse on the ground?

Whitemud Creek

Total hike including the loop around Fort Edmonton was 11 km. You can see more pictures on Flickr.
Whitemud Creek bridge

Opportunities Abound

People sometimes wonder how the Waskahegan Trail Association has managed to stay alive for 50 years.

Well, we haven’t been struggling for money. Casino funds, membership fees, and donations adequately cover our costs. But the hours and the brain power—that which comes entirely from volunteers? That’s where we struggle just like any organization.

For example, long-standing members can recall many times when we thought we would shut down because we couldn’t get people to join the board.

Why do we struggle? Because it’s hard for people to just raise their hands. Possibly, it’s humility—they don’t want to presume that their help would be wanted. Or they think that someone else wants it more.

But I believe that you want this organization to continue for at least another 50 years. In fact, you may have been willing to get involved from time to time—either on a little project or on something bigger. You just needed to know where the volunteer opportunities are.

That’s why the website now has a volunteer opportunities page.

On this page, you might find a task that matches your interests…or a task that will let you grow your skills in a friendly environment.

Or maybe you’re just looking for a way to give back to your community.

As new opportunities come up—whether it’s for a few hours or a bigger commitment—we’ll add them to the page.

Just don’t presume that we don’t need your help. If you have just an inkling of interest, we want to hear from you.