The trails at Sparwood Heights are groomed by volunteers of the Sunset Ridge Ski Society (SRSS). (Photo contributed by the SRSS)

The trails at Sparwood Heights are groomed by volunteers of the Sunset Ridge Ski Society (SRSS). (Photo contributed by the SRSS)

Sunset Ridge Ski Society secures $3k grant from Sparwood

Together with big grants from the Thrift Store and CBT, the society will be able to buy a new groomer and add storage

Sparwood’s Sunset Ridge Ski Society will soon be gearing up for an even better season next year, with funds secured for a second groomer and a new place to store it.

The society, which grooms and maintains cross-country skiing loops in Sparwood Heights and at the Sparwood Golf Course, has been drawing in grants, with the most recent being a $3k grant from the District of Sparwood.

The grant, which Sparwood councillors voted to approve on Feb. 22, will come from the district’s Community Funding and Support Program, and go towards acquiring a new sea-can for storage of new grooming equipment.

Together with a $1k donation from Walmart, and funds already raised, the ski society will be able to buy a new sea-can to store a yet-to-be-purchased new groomer, which will be bought with grants from the Columbia Basin Trust and Elk Valley Thrift Store, which have given the local volunteer-run society $16k and $10k respectively for the project.

“We thought having two groomers would improve our grooming so it was faster,” said Lucy Voronina, who is a director with the society. Currently, they have one groomer for all of their trails, of which there are are responsible for more than 6km of grooming.

“We really appreciate continued support from the District of Sparwood, Columbia Basin Trust and the thrift store.

“For a small society like ours, only a handful of volunteers do all the work and we really appreciate the help.”

The new groomer, and new sea-can to store the groomer are expected to be ready to go for the 2022-2023 winter season.

This season just now has proven to be a busy one, according to Voronina, with adult ski rentals all booked up, and lessons yet to return to the schedule.

By the next season, the society hopes that they will be able to offer more lessons as they did before COVID-19, and get back to teaching more folks how to enjoy nordic skiing in Sparwood.

READ MORE: Sparwood cross-country club reports record membership



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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