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Community engagement coming up on Medicine Lodge Ski Hill

Preserving area for long-term recreation use is the goal
(Photo courtesy of Town of Bentley)

The community is invited to attend an evening engagement session on Feb. 22 at Bentley Community Hall to hear about the Medicine Lodge Ski Hill Masterplan and asset utilization study. This will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Medicine Lodge Ski Club, which has been in operation for a long time, has successfully operated the hill, but the area is becoming busier and busier with more people looking for recreation opportunities in the area.

“The idea is for us to look at the existing hill, the existing assets, look at what can be done to potentially improve those assets and preserve the area long-term for long-term recreation for central Alberta,” said Marc Fortais, chief administrative officer with the Town of Bentley.

“We know that these types of things also support tourism within the area and attraction of residents because people are looking for multiple forms of recreation and those opportunities to enjoy with their families,” he added.

Fortais said they are looking at things like the feasibility of snow making activities, or things needing to be done to upgrade the assets to extend the season. He said they want to know what types of things people would be interested in to support the vision of long-term recreation, like mountain biking or cross country skiing for example.

Fortais said it’s about getting the word out there and the interest to potentially look at other opportunities, like other clubs who may want to join with the Medicine Lodge Ski Club to focus on the creation of trails and mountain biking.

“We really see it as a major asset to central Alberta. There’s really nothing like it of its kind. It’s the highest peak next to the Rockies in the prairies, so we think there’s a real big opportunity here.”

“The number one important thing to us is to make sure that we preserve the area long-term for long-term recreation. We don’t want to see the development of condos or houses or any of that sort of thing. We really want to preserve it as a long-term recreation destination that benefits the area of central Alberta.”

Besides the broader community engagement session on Feb. 22, Fortais said they are also engaging with the Club directly through other meetings, and are also looking at an indigenous component too, as the area may have had some cultural significance to indigenous people as well.