Knee­hill County re­ceives grant for Horse­shoe Canyon mas­ter plan

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

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

file­photo

Knee­hill County has been ap­proved for a grant to de­velop an Area Mas­ter Plan for Horse­shoe Canyon, the Gate­way to the Bad­lands.

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