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Friends of Madge Lake review past summer season

The Friends of Madge Lake did some work to the pickleball courts this year, and is planning work on the basketball court, planting trees and enhancing the trail infrastructure.
This year, the Friends of Madge Lake completed projects that had begun before the pandemic, and then worked on new initiatives, including the planting of trees and beginning a program of memorial benches.

MADGE LAKE — Opening this summer after the COVID-19 stall, the Friends of Madge Lake (FOML) began by completing projects that had begun before the pandemic, and then worked on new initiatives, including the planting of trees and beginning a program of memorial benches.

“Summer is officially over and we are well into a beautiful fall season,” said the Friends of Madge Lake newsletter that was received Oct. 18. “Hopefully all Friends of Madge Lake had a fun, relaxing summer.

“Like many organizations over the last couple of years, we had a COVID-19 stall. As a result, we wanted to kick off the 2022 summer season by ensuring that the projects we had started were completed and ready to be enjoyed.

“With some work to the pickleball courts and nets, we are proud to say that they are good to go and over this past summer, the uptake of participants using the pickleball/tennis courts was wonderful,” the newsletter says. Lessons were organized by an enthusiastic volunteer in July, and all classes were filled. The interest continues for this activity and indoor pickle ball is now being offered this fall in Kamsack.

“Next we moved to the basketball court,” it said. Work will be undertaken this fall to fabricate an extension arm and install new backboards and rims for completion in the spring of 2023. When that work is complete, the park crew will install the fence and poles around the court and it too, will be ready for some basketball action.

On May 14 and 15, FOML, in partnership with the Ministry of Parks, piloted a Teacher’s Forest Tour in the park, it said. The participants included teachers and park interpretive staff from the surrounding area. A wide range of topics were covered during the two days and included an overview of forests in Saskatchewan, Duck Mountain’s forest, the role of disturbance (forest fires and timber harvesting) in maintaining a healthy age range, natural forest patterns, ecosystem management and the effects of climate change on forests.

Referring to the Chinese proverb which says “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is today,” the newsletter said that Weyerhaeuser Canada and Dunkley Lumber generously donated over 1,000 white spruce seedlings in early June and FOML, along with campers and cottage owners, took advantage of this opportunity and planted seedlings throughout the park.

“We hope to repeat this as often as possible to give our aging forest a boost,” it said.

In partnership with Saskatchewan Parks and the Trans Canada Trail organization, FOML will be undertaking projects that expand and improve the quality and sustainability of the network of trails in Duck Mountain Provincial Park, it said. Enhancing the trail infrastructure through improvements such as drainage and resurfacing sections to accommodate increased number of users, is a priority.

Increased signage on the trails through added points of interest and additional mapping will enhance the trail experience, it said, urging persons to “stay tuned for updates.”

“We have been asked many times to sponsor something in the park that people could dedicate as memorials to passed loved Madge Lakers,” the newsletter says. FOML is presently building and placing benches in the park and on the trails with consultation and help from the park staff.

For a donation of $1,000, a person may designate one of these benches as a memorial of a loved one and place a plaque on the bench, it said. The donation would be receipted as a charitable donation.

FOML has also purchased and installed a memorial bench by the Treats and Treasures store. For a donation of $125, a person may dedicate a portion of that bench and have a plaque installed in memory of a loved one. These donations will also be receipted.

The benches are, of course, property of the park and will be maintained as such, it said. “If you wish to have a hand in the annual maintenance of the bench you have dedicated, you may volunteer with park administration to do so.”

Persons interested in either of these bench projects may contact Bobbi Wanner, a board member, at 306-542-3106.

“We are just in the process of installing two of our benches on Ministik Beach and are creating a quiet sitting area for seniors or anyone wishing to sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

“We had a very successful summer at Treats and Treasures, in no small part due to to having great staff and talented vendors. We thank all of them.

“It’s great that we are back to living and socializing,” it said. “We have people coming forward wanting to sponsor some events in 2023 in collaboration with, and profits going to back to Madge through FOML. If you have ideas and would like to plan and host an event at Madge, please contact us.”

The newsletter said that there is talk of a summer youth triathalon and interested planners are very welcome.

“We wish all Friends of Madge Lake a healthy and happy winter season and look forward to seeing you at beautiful Madge next summer.” 

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