Kneehill County receives grant for Horseshoe Canyon master plan
Kneehill County has received a grant to complete an Area Master Plan for Horseshoe Canyon.
The Mail reported in October of 2016, that Kneehill County had purchased a large portion of Horseshoe Canyon. The county immediately began making improvements to the site to make it more accessible for the thousands of visitors it sees every year, but also to conserve it for generations to come.
Manager of Parks and Agricultural Services for Kneehill County, Bowen Clausen, says the County has been approved for a grant to complete a master plan for Horseshoe Canyon.
“We have identified this as the Gateway to the Badlands, the first taste of the Badlands for people coming from Calgary. With the survey we conducted over the summer, 80 per cent of the people are coming from Calgary directly. If we can give a positive experience as they enter into Drumheller, it helps everybody in the end,” said Clausen.
He adds that Drumheller’s Economic Development Officer Julia Fielding submitted a letter of support for the project.
“This will give Council direction and an idea of what we should be doing there and an idea of how we should be moving forward,” said Clausen. “It is getting upwards of 400,000 people a year, and we are putting a lot of money into it for
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operational costs, so how can we utilize this amazing site to benefit the region and the county. So we are hoping this master plan is going to help with that.”
Since the county took possession of the site, they have made improvements including developing a viewing area, improved pathways, and stairs for easier and safer access, as well as benches and trees at the site.
The funds come from the Tourism Growth Innovation Fund (TGIF). This is a projectbased grant program that aims to support economic growth and improve quality of life in communities in Alberta, according to the Alberta Culture and Tourism website. Funding priority is for regions outside the urban areas of Edmonton and Calgary and the Rocky Mountain Parks. Kneehill is responsible for 25 per cent of the total cost.
Clausen says they will be sending out a request for proposals to have the master plan completed. “I would like to have some public consultation on how we can protect and preserve the site while still driving some tourism and economy in the region because we could all use some additional revenue sources,” he said.
He said moving forward on this project is based on research the county undertook.
“This was one of the focus areas and recommendation areas out of our Tourism and Recreation Master Pan for the entire County that was completed last year. This is the first step of us trying to work through that,” he said.
“This master plan, specific to Horseshoe Canyon, will have exactly the same thing, and council will decide which things it will want to do, or not do, or if they want to adopt it at the end of the day,” said Clausen.
This master plan, specific to Horseshoe Canyon, will have exactly the same thing, and council will decide which things it will want to do, or not do, or if they want to adopt it at the end of the day.” Bowen Clausen Manager of Parks and Agricultural Services Kneehill County
Kneehill County has been approved for a grant to develop an Area Master Plan for Horseshoe Canyon, the Gateway to the Badlands.