Professor of business at Harvard Business School, Rosabeth Moss Kanter has said, “A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.”
Echoing that sentiment, a newcomer to Kamsack’s town council, Bryce Erhardt, has been dreaming of his personal vision for a future Kamsack that would have the potential to boost year-round tourism, increase recreational opportunities, offer beneficial mental health activities, educate youth with important life skills, attract and retain families, and promote health and wellness for area residents of all ages.
“The things that have been accomplished thus far in our term on council, regarding recreation, offer a great start,” proclaimed Erhardt. “It’s encouraging to see the addition of cross country ski trails at the Riverside Golf Course, as well as the creation of an outdoor skating rink.”
While Erhardt explained to the Kamsack Times that his visions for the future are his own and don’t represent the views of others on council, he also stated that he intends to bring his ideas forth in hopes that, in time, they will meet approval. Erhardt is working closely with, and has full support from, Councillor Claire Bishop, who is spearheading the Healthy Kamsack initiative that was recently approved by town council.
“I would personally love to see an evolution of our Eco-trail,” explained Erhardt. “I believe many residents would appreciate some additional development of walking/biking paths through the ravine behind Banks Crescent, as well as a trail connection to the Dr. Bishop Memorial Trail, and eventually a complete loop around the outskirts of Kamsack. Trails through the town will accommodate walking, biking, and cross country skiing, as well as offer convenient and alternative means of travel to many local attractions and businesses.”
Discussions regarding Kamsack’s economic profile have identified recreational amenities as one of the biggest strengths the region has to offer both residents and visitors. A recent analysis mentions Kamsack’s proximity to Duck Mountain Provincial Park, a multitude of lakes and back country, camping, hunting, and angling as four season identity markers that have been known to attract people to the town and area.
Right in Kamsack, Erhardt envisions improvements to the sports grounds – specifically the ball diamonds which could use a fence and backstop repair, graded and redressed infields, permanent washrooms, as well as upgraded beer garden and concession. At the disc golf course, Erhardt would like to see improved tee pads.
“The Broda Sportsplex also needs crucial structural repairs, upgraded lighting, conversion to greener power and energy, and other upgrades,” explained Erhardt. “In terms of our outdoor skating rink, I think if we can build a larger rink with boards and nets, it would get even more use. The current, much smaller, outdoor rink could still be utilized as a safe area for parents and children learning to skate.”
Erhardt also has a vision that considers pet owners in town. “Off-leash dog parks allow dog owners to let their dogs run freely and socialize with other dogs, which is a very beneficial part of training and health for the animals. It also encourages people to get out and exercise."
“A summertime kayak/canoe launch near Riverside Golf Course and Broda Park would be fantastic, with the opportunity for launches within Cote and Keeseekoose First Nations providing recreational groups safe access to the river between the communities,” offered Erhardt.
Erhardt also aims to build a stronger relationship and partnership with neighbouring First Nations with new youth programs and increased recreational infrastructure.
"Sports and recreation are important stepping stones in building strong and healthy relationships and lifestyles, and it starts by working together to provide proper mentorship and guidance within all of our communities. This ties in closely with the newly launched, Healthy Kamsack initiative. We can do more together than we could ever do alone,” Erhardt concluded.