Three Stars Presented by Lawrie Insurance Group
Scott is the Superintendent of Parks & Facilities for the Township of Lake of Bays in northeastern Muskoka, Ontario. We had the pleasure of chatting with him to learn more about his submission for the #HockeyVacciNation campaign and the skating trails they developed to keep their community united over the winter. Congratulations, Scott!
VOTE FOR SCOTT! – Ends Friday, September 24
How did you enter to be a part of the #HockeyVacciNation campaign?
I received an email newsletter from CARHA about the campaign and thought I would be happy to do my part to encourage others to get vaccinated. Sent in my picture through the internet.
What charity/organization have you selected for your donation?
I picked the Township of Lake of Bays as the recipient of the donation.
You shared an uplifting story of positivity that provided local residents with a safe place to skate and be active after the arena closed. Could you tell us more?
The first wave of Covid 19 shut us down in March so everyone had had a chance to skate most of the season. The second winter was on again off again and our communities needed a place to skate! So, we approached our CAO with the idea and after checking with our insurance company we decided to create a couple of outdoor skating trails for the public to use. One was in a park (Baysville) where we had to blow snow and build ice when the weather permitted. It was more of a loop. The big trail was in Dwight, on Dwight Bay of Lake of Bays. Here we created a skating trail utilizing natural ice. We cleared snow and flooded to get nice smooth ice and did constant depth checks for safety. As you can see by the pictures people LOVED it! We had hockey teams using the trail to skate to keep their teams going and learning! No pucks or game play as the trail was only 12 feet wide and had lots of curves in it. It was all about keeping people skating! Our Mayor and Council loved it and our community sent us pictures and videos of themselves out skating.
What impact did this initiative have on your community during COVID-19?
This is where we really noticed it. Our community has a large population of seniors. The skating trail in Dwight is on our beach and we plowed spots to park. If the seniors did not want to skate, they would come and walk, cross country ski, snowshoe, or just people watch. It brought people out to exercise and helped reduce the isolation so many of our residents were experiencing.
How will the $500 donation be used?
The donation will go towards making this an annual event. Last year we had to improvise on a lot of things, but this money will help purchase things like trail markers, hose for flooding and maybe signage.
What does it mean for you to be a finalist for the $10,000 grand prize?
I think it is wonderful! We are very happy we were able to keep our communities on the ice, which is important for their health, physical and mental. With that prize money, we could invest in a flood cart to make our ice even better! The safest place to be during the Covid 19 outbreak is outside, why not be skating! Doing a very Canadian thing!!