Coyote Lake: Community coming together
Coyote Lake CV event (Photo by NCC)
There are few things more rewarding then sitting down with a group of friends to enjoy a well-earned barbecue after a day of physical activity, which is what Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff members, Conservation Volunteers and Coyote Lake community members did earlier this summer.
On July 25, 16 wonderful volunteers assembled at the Hopkins property, ready for a day of sunshine and physical labour. Located in Alberta’s boreal forest, the property is in the Coyote Lake Conservation Area and is about a half-hour west of Drayton Valley.
The area is a great location for local outdoor enthusiasts to get outside and experience nature. It is also why the Hopkins property it is one of three Nature Destinations in Alberta. Part of the draw of this destination is the eight kilometres of trails that weave through forest, across open meadows and along the shores of Coyote Lake.
The Conservation Volunteers came together with a purpose: to maintain the trail systems that allow the public to access and enjoy this stunning natural haven. After a brief round of introductions at the Coyote Lake gazebo, volunteers split off into two teams to divide and conquer the vegetation overgrowing on the property’s western trail circuit.
Over the course of the afternoon, volunteers worked their way along the trails. Armed with loppers, shears and handsaws, the group worked with determination and enthusiasm. They sawed off overhanging branches, trimmed back bushes and pulled out newly sprouted trees that had popped up in the middle of the trails.
BBQ at Coyote Lake Lodge (Photo by NCC)
By the time 4 p.m. rolled around, the group of enthusiastic volunteers had cleared upward of three kilometres of trail, and the heat of the day was reaching its peak. In appreciation for all of their hard work and outstanding efforts, they were then invited to enjoy a barbecue with NCC at Coyote Lake Lodge.
Operated by the Alberta Abilities Lodge Society, Coyote Lake Lodge is a wellness and nature centre for people with disabilities. This lodge is also a haven for people and also for the wildlife that use the forest corridor from Coyote Lake to the North Saskatchewan River. At the back of the main building, there is a large patio where everyone enjoyed a bite and a cold beverage after a day in the sun. Neighbours within the community were also invited to the barbecue and to visit with NCC staff and volunteers, and to learn more about Coyote Lake Lodge from our accommodating hosts.
Over the course of the barbecue, conversation flowed and friendships were made over stories from the day. The volunteers, many of whom had never met until that day, came together because they all shared a passion for the natural world. It’s another reminder that NCC is fortunate to have a generous community of supporters that help us achieve far more together than we could ever do alone.