Original Published on Oct 26, 2022 at 18:11
By Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Nackawic Bend Ski Club trails, used by cross-country ski and snowshoe enthusiasts for close to 40 years, may soon fall under the oversight of Nackawic’s recreation department.
During the Oct. 17 council meeting, Deputy Mayor Greg MacFarlane, who served as club president for almost 20 years, recommended the town take responsibility for the ongoing management of the club.
As he previously explained to council colleagues, MacFarlane explained the trails and recently upgraded clubhouse sit on land owned by AV Nackawic.
“It’s a beautiful piece of land,” he said, describing its old-growth forest, wetland and abundance of wildlife and plantlife.
Until recently, the deputy mayor explained, the club operated independently on funds raised within the community, with a large portion coming from the former Run the River foot race each fall.
He explained the club didn’t host the one, five and 10-k races in recent years, and he was still determining whether they would return.
He explained fundraising allowed the club to upgrade its cabin and storage building and fuel a snowmobile he donated to the club several years ago. He added the Run the River funds also help donate skis and snowshoes to Nackawic schools.
MacFarlane said handing the club’s operation over to the town’s recreation department ties into Nackawic’s active efforts to promote outdoor fitness and nature appreciation. In addition to snowshoeing and skiing in winter, he explained that the trails are ideal for biking and hiking in the summer.
MacFarlane explained that the club’s current bank account sits at approximately $6,000, adding the annual cost to operate at around $2,000. MacFarlane said the club could transfer its funds to the recreation department.
MacFarlane added the club is actively trying to develop a long-term relationship with landowner AV Nackawic. He said Ryan Smith of the mill’s Woodland Division recently viewed the trails and clubhouse and offered a verbal commitment to getting back to them next year to develop a long-term plan.
Mayor Ian Kitchen applauded the idea but suggested leaving the final decision to the incoming council representing the Nackawic-Millville Rural Community in January. He added the plan requires decisions on how the Nackawic Bend Ski Club is operated and who would run it.
“I understand it’s not a big ask, but it needs discussion,” he said.
The mayor promised the idea won’t “fall by the wayside.” He called the trails and surrounding lands an asset to the town.
It’s a recreational woodland inside the municipality,” Kitchen said
Nackawic Acting CAO Kathryn Clark said she would check for available recreation and nature grants to help fund maintenance and upgrades to the trail.