The WalkABle Wetaskiwin Committee is a community group within the City of Wetaskiwin whose purpose is to promote and build on an active lifestyle culture (such as walking, cycling, running, wheel chair use, or skating) that supports people in making safe and healthy choices in Wetaskiwin.

Two of the priority areas for the committee are trail improvement and the development of a trail map. A sub-committee, consisting of representatives from local agencies, the municipality and community volunteers, was established to focus on the trail map development. After much editing, revisions and stakeholder input, the trail map first edition was printed in November 2018.

The Plan

The trail map has and will continue to have a valuable impact on Wetaskiwin and area community members and visitors to the area. The map highlights:

  • Green spaces, parks and the numerous groomed trails within the community.
  • Neighboring trails for those who enjoy longer trail expeditions.
  • Key features such as the naming of The City of Wetaskiwin and the Peace Cairn erected to commemorate 60 years of peace between The Cree and The Blackfoot Nations.
  • Information on the WalkABle Wetaskiwin committee and its importance in the community as well as contact information for feedback.
  • Information on the trail improvement program that WalkABle Wetaskiwin developed to improve local trails via donations and sponsorships of assets such as benches, lighting, greenery and garbage receptacles.

There were numerous hurdles to overcome in the development of this map, including guaranteeing distances and accuracy of the trails and designing an attractive product.  We worked with a skilled graphic designer to ensure the map was visually appealing, highlighted a local photographer’s work, and tried to make the map easy to navigate. All of  this was done while staying within a specific budget.

The Outcomes

The project allowed for collaboration between local and municipal partners with community volunteers while fostering connections and relationships that may not have otherwise occurred. Through this initiative, the committee found a new appreciation for the time and effort that goes into such a project. Valuable feedback was received from contributors and we learned how to incorporate individual interpretations of the map into a final group vision.  Numerous meetings, countless editing sessions, and extended time lines ensured a high quality finished productThe success of this project is due to the commitment and patience of those involved in the task. Key contributors kept the project moving forward through barriers and difficult decision making.

The trail map was released during the winter months and there has since been a high demand and interest in the trail maps. This is a great opportunity to highlight winter trail walking and the importance of physical activity during the colder months of the year.

Next steps are asking for feedback from map users and exploring the idea of having the map available digitally or through an app feature. Plans for printing and further editions are also being discussed.

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