Sturgeon County has won a provincial award for bringing new trails to Alberta’s countryside.
Sturgeon County received the Alberta TrailNet Trail Blazer award earlier this month during the annual general meeting of the Alberta TrailNet Society (a non-profit which promotes trail development in Alberta). Mayor Alanna Hnatiw acknowledged the award during her June 8 State of the County address and the June 14 county council meeting. The award recognizes an individual or organization that has made many contributions to trail development in Alberta.
Sturgeon County was recognized for its exceptional efforts to build parts of the Trans Canada Trail, including the Lamoureux, Fort Augustus, and Woodridge trails, said society executive director Linda Strong-Watson. The county has also helped build trails regionally through the Athabasca Landing Trail Steering Committee and the River Valley Alliance, the latter of which seeks to build a trail network along the North Saskatchewan River from Fort Saskatchewan to Devon.
Strong-Watson said trails saw a surge in use nationwide during the pandemic, with some trails reporting a nearly 200-per-cent jump in traffic. Municipalities are often key supporters of trails, which can bring jobs and tourism to a region.
Strong-Watson said Sturgeon County will host the Trail Blazer trophy (a wooden boot atop a large stump) for about a year before it moves onto the next winner. The county will get a smaller version of the trophy to keep.
The award can be viewed in the lobby of the Sturgeon County Centre in Morinville.