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Weyburn Trail Society asks for support from City of Weyburn

Members of the non-profit Weyburn Trail Society made a plea for in-kind support from the City of Weyburn, after appearing at the last council meeting.
Representatives of a trails group in Weyburn made an appeal to city council for assistance in maintaining the trails they have made on the South Hill. They noted they put in a lot of volunteer work to develop trails for mountain biking. At the podium was Dave Hodgkins, with Mike Manko-Bauche and Trevor Tessier.

WEYBURN – Members of the non-profit Weyburn Trail Society made a plea for in-kind support from the City of Weyburn, after appearing at the last council meeting on Oct. 23.

Dave Hodgkin, Mike Manko-Bauche and Trevor Tessier gave a presentation about their group, noting their members have put in many volunteer hours in developing and maintaining the trails for running and for mountain bike riding on the South Hill.

Hodgkin noted that as a non-profit group, they are able to access better insurance rates for group members who ride or run on the trails. There are about 10 km of trails by the Heritage Village and River Park section of the Tatagwa Parkway.

“We definitely appreciate the use of the land up there, this land that nobody really uses,” he said.

Tessier said there are 278 members of the mountain bike club on Facebook, and 213 members of the running club, with the two groups merging under the name of the Weyburn Trail Society.

He noted they spend about an hour a week to mow grass on .16 hectare of land, where the City of Weyburn currently cuts grass on about 14.2 ha of land, about the size of Jubilee Park. Volunteers do about an average of 75 hours a year, with most of the grass cutting and weed trimming done in June and July.

“One of the things we’re asking for is could we have those trail systems mowed,” said Tessier, adding they are asking for one mow of the grass in the spring, and once in the fall. The club members have done the work developing the trails, and keeping them free of brush as much as possible.

Coun. Jeff Richards noted he has used the trails a few times, and loves being on them on South Hill.

He asked what volume of users there are on the trails, and Manko-Bauche said he spends a lot of time on the trails, with most of the time seeing one to three others out at the same time.

Tessier added the running club goes out three times a week for an hour a day, with a group of eight or so currently.

Hodgkin said they are seeing families out more and more as they discover the trails.

Coun. Ryan Janke asked what time of year they mostly use the trails, and Hodgkin said for the mountain bikes it’s mostly spring to fall, where the running club is out all year round.

Hodgkin and Manko-Bauche are also the main two who have worked on developing and maintaining the bike trails, noted Tessier.

“That’s where the challenge comes in, as for the most part they’re doing this alone without support, other than the space granted,” he added.

Hodgkin said they are doing everything by hand right now.

City leisure services director Andrew Crowe noted they have a meeting with user groups at the start of the year, and the Parks department figures out what resources they have available for taking care of the park lands around the city.

“Our resources change from year to year, with staffing and the needs in the parks,” he said.