The number of visitors at Duck Mountain Provincial Park were up this summer, and overall, it was a “very enjoyable summer,” according to Greg Podovinnikoff, park manager.
Podovinnikoff estimates park attendance numbers were up by 10 per cent this summer, and there were some well-attended events throughout the season.
“There were a number of excellent events held at the park that had people come out to enjoy,” he said. “The season started off with the Spring Classic Golf Tournament and then a Ladies Night Out sponsored by the Friends of Madge Lake organization. Both events were very successful and at capacity, so that was a nice kickoff to summer.”
Podovinnikoff indicated that the park interpretative programs were well received and numbers were up.
On July 21, SaskExpress with hometown performer Elizabeth Hilderman put on a show in the park with around 700 in attendance.
August long weekend was very successful with Smoke on the Water being held as a two-day event. Beginning on Friday night, a barbecue supper and then entertainment by the Johner Boys brought out around 900 people, he said. On Saturday, Smoke on the Water in conjunction with the Westminster United Church 100th anniversary celebration, had AR Cash, a Johnny Cash tribute band perform to entertain around 600 people.
“World-class hoop dancer, Terrence Littletent also performed to an audience of around 400 on Saturday afternoon, and the Iron Grill was there with an excellent meal. To cap off the night a brilliant display of fireworks, sponsored by the Madge Lake Cottage Owners Association, was set off over Madge Lake from Ministik Beach. There were seven to eight-hundred people who came out to watch the display.
“Throughout the summer the commercial lessees did a phenomenal job of providing for the park visitors, and the park staff did an excellent job on maintenance and beautification.”
Podovinnikoff was pleased that there were very few issues and complaints throughout the summer, and no major incidents of mischief or vandalism. “The cottage owners gave us favorable feedback during the summer.
“The Friends of Madge Lake organization that is operating the cabin store in the park had a phenomenal summer, and thanks to its donations we are making improvements in the park,” he said, indicating that included new signage and markings for the trail systems, an off-leash dog park and expansion of the disc golf course from nine to 18 holes this fall.
Work on the snowmobile trails and at the Ski Hill is starting.
For the second year the Sask Long Riders Association held an Endurance Race on the cross-country ski trails in the park, and according to Podovinnikoff, the number of participants with their horses were up this year. “We had a lot of good revues from participants who said this park is a fabulous venue for this event,” he said.
Water levels at Madge Lake are holding steady, even though the summer was drier this year, but the springs are running, and water quality is good, he said. The potable water system will be shut down on October 1, and park staff will begin the annual fall work of draining and blowing out the lines.
Directional drilling for a new water pipeline will have begun in the park this week, and the plan is to install a Nano-filtration or reverse osmosis water treatment plant. This should be completed within the next two years.
“Look for more events upcoming in the park in September and October, and of course, we plan to expand the winter carnival activities in the upcoming winter season,” Podovinnikoff concluded.
The third annual Madge Lake Walleye Cup will be held on September 14, and the Friends of Madge Lake Tailgate Party Fundraiser will be held on October 26 at the Madge Lake Rec Hall.