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Last updateFri, 19 Apr 2024 5pm

Rails to Trails fundraising tops $550K

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Members of Drumheller Town Council, and representatives from the Town’s Public Works and Administrative departments officially cut the ribbon on what would be- come the Rails to Trails project to convert former CN Rail right of way throughout the community into walking trails in July 2022. Since then, the Rails to Trails Fundraising Task Force has managed to raise more than $550,000 towards the project.

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Drumheller’s Rails to Trails fundraising campaign has wrapped up having raised just over a half million dollars.

In April 2022, the Town secured a 25 year lease, at a cost of one dollar per year, from CN Rail to convert the railway bed into an active transportation system throughout the Valley for residents and visitors.

The 12 kilometre trail will have stops and stations along the way, all railway-themed, these will be equipped with benches picnic areas shade structures and bike stations.

The work first started with connecting downtown to 19 Street East, near the Walmart. Crews are now working on the train bridge that connects Newcastle to Midland. The concrete blocks used to stabilize the bridge at times of high water have recently been removed and the work on restoring the deck has begun.

“The Town secured the line but there is a contingency that CN has the opportunity to take the line back and use it for rail if they need to, but the odds of that happening are pretty slim,” Chairman of the project,, Jason Blanke tells the Mail. “We have raised over $557,000 for the project through sponsorship of bridges, stations and stops along the line. It was way more than we expected to receive. We are so happy and thankful to the community for stepping up to help out.”

Alongside Blanke, there has been a task force of a number of people involved in the project. Mayor Heather Colberg, Councillors Crystal Sereda and Patrick Kolafa, Lana Phillips, Courtney Bell, Barb Lubinski, Becky Kowalchuk, Tyler Eddy, Josh Bhikoo and Madison Colberg, have all worked effortlessly together to bring this project to fruition.

“Thank you to the committee and the community for being a part of this great contribution towards active living,” Councillor Sereda, and the Treasurer/Secretary of the Committee expresses. “This is really going to connect the Drumheller Valley!”

During this summer and fall, people will see a lot of change happening along the railway. There is no timeline set but the work is hoped to be completed this year to at least make it usable from the Royal Tyrrell Museum to Rosedale, there the network will connect to pathways to the Swinging Bridge and east to the Hoodoos.


Environment Canada issues warning to Big Valley concerning wastewater

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The Village of Big Valley has received a warning form Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Fisheries Act for contraventions within the Village’s Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations pertaining to the issues within their lagoon.

At the Monday, March 18, Village Council Meeting, Chief Administrative Officer, Colleen Mayne, presented Council with an informative Request for Decision concerning the contraventions and to create a lagoon repair Action Plan to address the issues outlined under the Fisheries Act.

Under inspection, the Big Valley Lagoon was found to exceed the average concentration of suspended solid limit allowed and failed to submit annual monitoring reports, complete with proper test findings. There are also concerns around a crack located along the top of the berm potentially causing leakage of treated wastewater into the surrounding environment.

The Warning states that it is “intended to bring this matter to your attention in order for you to take the necessary corrective action to ensure compliance with the Fisheries Act. This document is not a finding of guilt or civil liability, and is not an administrative adjudication."

Photographer honoured by Football Alberta

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    Drumheller’s own Mack Cassidy was presented the Rob and Grace Zittlau Media Award from Football Alberta.
    This is the third year for the award, and it was created to recognize people on the technical side of sports, be they local media reporting on amateur football or individuals who work on the electronic side of sports.
    Cassidy was nominated by Coach Ken Fournier. He notes that Cassidy has been travelling with the team for two years doing game film. Additionally, he has been a sideline photographer and videographer for the team.
    “The photos Mack has done for us have been a great part of our players, parents, friends and family to experience what football is about, capturing key moments and being able to share has so many benefits. For us in a small community and with social media it’s been a big part of our team building excitement within the community,” said Fournier.
    “For example, a player that’s new and not sure if football is for them gets a picture shared and commented on by a family member can make the difference for them to feel part of the team. And for our international students being able to share these at a distance has also had an impact for their families. And even new players, we had an exchange student come here because he saw pictures in a presentation from a former player who was part of our team and wanted to come here because he also wanted to experience this.”
    On top of game film, he has worked hard promoting the team using his audio, video and photographic skills.
    “This season he really ramped it up with short clips and highlight/pump-up videos he made for every week of the season that he could. Everywhere I went our team was getting compliments on these. There is so much work that goes into these and is so important to the growth of the sport not to mention the impact it has had on the memories these players will cherish down the road.”
    His work has also helped players with recruiting.
    “For his going above and beyond in the support and promotion of the high school team in Drumheller, Football Alberta presented the Rob and Grace Zittlau Media Award to Mack Cassidy.”


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