Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Open house held to discuss Pincher Creek's walking trails with public

Footbridge at west end of Pincher Creek (file photo)
Christian Davis

The Town of Pincher Creek held an open house, divided into two sessions, on Monday, November 6 to share information and gather feedback about the town's walking trails.  A number of maps, diagrams, and photographs were on display, including a large map that showed various formal and informal trails, and possible future trails.

Trail map
Town staff and members of the Recreation Advisory Committee were in attendance to answer questions and facilitate the feedback process.

Mayor Don Anderberg and Pincher Creek Recreation Manager Adam Grose
Pincher Creek Recreation Manager Adam Grose explained the planning process, saying "We look at the community as a whole, and can you get from point A to point B."  Grose added that the trails illustrated range from asphalt or shale topped formal trails, and informal user-created trails.  Informal trails are most common at the west extremity of the town.  I asked him what was next for trail planning in Pincher Creek.  "That's obviously based on budget," he replied. "They have been in the past putting in $100,000 a year since I've been around...into new trail infrastructure. Recently, they've actually concentrated a little bit more on trail upkeep."

Mayor Don Anderberg was also in attendance.  He said the trail system was a big benefit to the town's citizenry.  "It's very important. It's probably the highest used recreational facility we have.  One of the good things about it, is it's free to access at any time."   Development of the trail system began after the flood of 1995.   "A group of volunteers actually did that," said Anderberg.

"In 2007 we did a recreation master plan, and there was a lot of talk about 'Where are we going to put trails?'  Some areas had been done piecemeal, and we looked at how everything is connected."   That process resulted in the 2008 Pincher Creek Parks & Open Space Plan Master Plan.  Anderberg said there was a lot of public input considered in creating the plan.  "I think overall, there has been generally some construction on trails pretty well every year." He reiterated what Adam Grose said about maintenance being an important priority. "So now we have a budget for maintenance.  The majority of issues that we have heard have been taken care of."  Of the open house he said "The questions are being asked: What kind of surfaces do you like? Where do you want to see trails? Are there points we should be working on?"

Anderberg and Grose also spoke of the coordinated development of continuous trails, incorporating sidewalks (both new and previously existing) with trails of other types.  "Really, it's all connected," said Anderberg.

Avid walker Hugh Dunham
Pincher Creek citizen Hugh Dunham attended the open house.  Dunham is an avid walker, and lives in close proximity to the trail that runs along the creek.  He said walks he three times a day during non-icy times, and he regularly advocates for trail maintenance at Town Council sessions.  "I feel it needs a lot of care and attention," said Dunham.  "If we're going to build the amount of new ones shown on the map, when they can't take care of what we've got now, we're going to be in trouble."

Pincher Creek citizen Kathleen Hancock said she appreciates the trail system and uses it to walk her dogs and enjoy nature.  She said she was concerned about people who don't clean up after their dogs on the trails, and suggested the Town make poop bag dispensers available to the public.

A number of citizens availed themselves suggestion 'boards' (large sheets of paper to which post-it note suggestions could be attached) that were titled Inclusion and Access (reducing barriers to trail use), Trail Maintenance, Active Living (the recent Moonshadow Run was mentioned as benefiting from the creek paths), Supportive Environments, and People and Nature.

cover of walking tour booklet

The Town of Pincher Creek also has a booklet available for those who would like to take self-guided walking tours around the town, titles "An Informative Self Guided Walk of our Murals, Flower Beds & History".  It's free, and is available at the Town office and other locations in town.

The booklet is divided into four parts:

  • Downtown Walk
  • South Loop
  • East Loop
  • North Loop

Map from walking tour guide

Points of interest included in those suggested walks and walking/driving tours:

  • Pincher Creek Multi-Purpose Facility  (895 Main Street) beds
  • Numerous murals around the town
  • Seasonal hanging baskets along Main Street and the downtown bridges
  • St. John’s Anglican Church (800 Main Street)
  • Provincial Building grounds (782 Main Street)
  • Pincher Park flower beds (junction of Main Street and Bev McLachlin Drive)
  • Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village Museum and Community Gardens (1037 Bev McLachlin Drive)
  • Builders World bed (1014 Hewetson Avenue) - 2015 Businesses in Bloom winner
  • Centennial Park (691 Main Street)
  • Cenotaph Park (715 Main Street)
  • Post Office bed (998 East Avenue)
  • Pincher Creek United Church (972 Police Avenue)
  • Town Hall (962 St. John Avenue)
  • Waterton Avenue (Highway 6)
  • St. Michael’s Church (958 Christie Avenue)
  • St. Michael’s School (864 Christie Avenue)
  • Hank Planger Memorial Playground (north of St. Michael's School)
  • Lebel Mansion (696 Kettles Street) - Registered Historic Site
  • Oldman Rose Society garden at Lebel Mansion grounds
  • Matthew Halton High School (645 Davidson Avenue)
  • Pincher Creek United Church (972 Police Avenue)
  • Crestview Lodge (978 Hyde Street) including Breast Cancer Ribbon bed and Tranquility Park
  • Pincher Creek Municipal Golf Course (942 Hyde Street)
  • Community Corner bed (942 Hyde Street)
  • Veteran’s Memorial Campground (940 Scobie Avenue)
  • Bobby Burns Fish Pond and Recreation Park (Macleod Road)
  • Juan Teran Regional Park (Macleod Road)
  • Fairview Cemetery (Macleod Road)
  • Pioneer Cemetery (Waterton Avenue)
  • Pincher Creek Municipal Hospital (1222 Bev McLachlin Drive)
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (1240 Wentworth Avenue)
  • North East Area Community Playground (Wentworth Avenue and Elizabeth Street)
  • Vista Village (1240 Ken Thornton Boulevard)
  • Foothills Community Church (1200 Ken Thornton Boulevard) - currently housing St. Michael's School students while renovations to the school are underway.
  • Dillmer Park (Charlotte Street)
  • Creekside Pathway - The walkway passes through several open space areas including the Agricultural Grounds, Dillmer Park, Lions Ball Park, Bike & Skate Parks, Tennis Courts and Veteran’s Memorial Campground. 
  • Canyon School (408 Victoria Crescent) including memorial flower bed
  • Entrance Silhouettes (Highway 3 & 6)
Note: Pincher Planters maintains many of the public beds in town.

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