-Groomer Bill on Mountainview at West Bragg Creek-
Groomer Jeff H from West Bragg Creek sent this email:
As you are aware the GBCTA is run by volunteers and with the exception of a small percentage of the trail system being groomed by Parks, almost all of the daily operations are completed by volunteers. This includes trail building, trail improvements, and daily grooming of most trails. The significant increase in work done on the trail system in the last two years has made Bragg Creek an essential destination for a variety of winter pastimes.
Despite the dramatic increase in use of the West Bragg Creek recreation area, there has not been a corresponding increase in donations to our volunteer run organization. Our efforts at improving user experience has been a costly one with increases in equipment, fuel and maintenance costs.
The achillies heel for us is that we depend completely on donations to operate. Apparently, fees to ski elsewhere in Southern Alberta can run from 5-15 dollars per visit. People ski at Bragg for free! Great deal for them, but hardly sustainable.
The level of expectation for quality grooming will need to be lowered significantly if we can’t meet our financial obligations. I encourage all skiers to contribute a paltry toonie every time they go for a ski at West Bragg. There is a donation box at the Kiosk in the parking lot. I think most people would agree that a good ski is worth the cost of a cup of coffee.
For those that are so inclined, a more substantial donation that can be tax deductible may be appropriate through our website at:
After you reach the donate page, select the fund your donation wants to support and select: ‘Ski Trail Grooming and Track Setting’
With your help we’ll be able to continue providing quality grooming and make strides to improve our fledgeling little ski area.
Thanks for your consideration!
Groomer Jeff H.
I use West Bragg Creek for XC skiing quite a bit and donate every once in awhile 10 or 20 Dollars at the donation box. Due to the amount of people using the trails I think it would be good if they would start charging 2 – 5 $ every time someone uses the trails. Not only for skiing but although for biking, snow showing and all other activities.
This is an obvious problem and I am not sure that asking for donations will really help. While some will, most will not. Does the GBCTA have the authority and ability to implement a membership and day-fee system such as the one that is in place at the Dawn Mountain Nordic Centre in Golden? Check out their site http://www.goldennordicclub.ca/rates and you’ll note there are day fees to be deposited in a box on site, and regulars can become members entitling them to presumably unlimited skiing. Different rates apply whether you volunteer or not.
Like it or not, track skiing and trail maintenance is NOT free and someone needs to bear the cost. Let’s work together to implement a system that makes everyone happy. Just think if the GBCTA was better funded they could afford better equipment and we could even experience better conditions than we currently have!!!
We donate annually, even if we cannot get out to ski. Hope others do too! We are fortunate to have West Bragg. Thanks for all the hard work.
I will be suggesting to all Foothills Nordic members who ski at WBC to contribute!
We run into the same issue when grooming Confederation, Maple Ridge and Lakeview golf courses in Calgary. Lots of expenses but no funding from the City of Calgary or other government agencies.
We have just started to work on getting donations from the public:
Not sure how long a donation box would last in Calgary. 🙂
In Kimberley, in order to use the Nordic trails, a mandatory fee of (correct me if I am wrong, but I believe $10.00/per day, or a weekly or yearly rate) is charged and collected by volunteers from the Nordic Club. At one time it was collected by donation, however, I think the same problem was occurring there as WBC is experiencing now. The number of people using the trails in comparison to the donations received, well, just did not add up. I will probably not be too popular in suggesting that the fee be mandatory (who wants to stand out there voluntarily demanding money?), but it may be the only way to have costs covered for grooming. Of course, this may open the can of worms regarding who would have to pay this mandatory fee. Do you charge people snowshoeing, hikers, and fatbikers who technically do not require the grooming? Maybe it is just easier to rely on the fact that everyone should have a conscience and donating a toonie when enjoying the beauty of WBC should be more than acceptable to all. I know firsthand what it is like to live near beautiful trails (Sandy McNabb) that are a hit and miss as far as grooming is concerned. It costs far more than a couple of dollars for me to drive all the way to PLPP so donating gas money alone would exceed the request for donation. Just say’n.
I just made my contribution online. Thanks to the volunteers at WBC!
Thanks for posting this – I just made a donation online, and also posted on Facebook, suggesting that others do the same. Great work on the trails, folks!!!
A “Toonie for Trails” – Brilliant! I hope this simple gesture can help to sustain a remarkable endeavor in WBC.
A twoonie per use is a steal. I hope people step up and contribute.