TBNT gratefully acknowledges the financial support received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (Community Building Fund) and the Government of Ontario.
Thunder Bay – In 2022, Thunder Bay Nordic Trails received a $49,000 Community Building Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to help Kamview Nordic Centre to ensure the sustainability of their facility, to adapt to new ways of working, to meet the changing needs of program and service delivery, and to enhance visitor and participant experiences.
When Kamview Nordic Centre was permitted to re-open their trails in the 2020/2021 season with restrictions in place to keep staff and participants safe, the influx of new and returning ski and snowshoe trail users was celebrated. However, with an increase in volume of users came an increase need for safety considerations and maintenance upgrades to the facilities.
Many activities were undertaken to increase current and new user satisfaction and participation by improving the safety and functionality of current ski trails. The grant allowed TBNT to pay the increased staff salaries and for the rental of equipment required to undertake these activities.
Trail side tree removal (by hiring a feller-buncher and operator as part of our ongoing Forest Management efforts) increases the volume of snow reaching the trails (snow is not hung up on the overhanging branches) and reduces tree debris (needles and wind fall) landing on trails. This improves the safety and reduces additional grooming and maintenance requirements. Removing the tree canopy over the trails along with the cleaning and maintenance of overhead lighting (using a rented scissor lift) also improves visibility and safety on the lit ski trails creating broader luminosity from the overhead lighting. Significant ditching efforts were also undertaken to drain snow melt more effectively thereby extending the ski season and reducing staff time spent renovating trails.
Some of the impact of Covid related closures of our chalet, canteen, ski and snowshoe rentals, and programming services were mitigated by this grant. It helped TBNT to maintain part-time staff employment levels, offset lost fundraising opportunities and support promotion of programs and services by increasing the volume and reach of social media and program marketing.
TBNT has been able to react to the significant increase in 4 season trail use at Kamview Nordic Centre as user volume increases created the need for additional year-round trail maintenance (ski track grooming, grass cutting, trail widening).
“Thunder Bay Nordic Trails was one of many organizations that had to adapt to changing times during the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Kevin Holland. “I am happy to see the Kamview Nordic Centre get the support that they need to help manage the influx of new and returning ski and snowshoe trail users, as well as those that use this attraction year-round.”
“The impact of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant cannot be underestimated,” said Ross Johnston, Chair of the Thunder Bay Nordic Trails. “This grant has allowed much needed renovations and improvements to be made to increase the satisfaction of our trail users and ensure the long-term sustainability of our trails.”
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 644 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.