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Celebrating Saskatchewan winter

MLA Warren Michelson's column from this week's edition of The Moose Jaw Express
Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson

Getting more exercise is one of the top three New Year’s resolutions people make. Keeping mentally and socially active as well as physically active is also important. Fortunately, there are so many opportunities in our city and our province to stay active, even during our long winters.

The City of Moose Jaw and our Community Associations have a wonderful variety of low-cost programs for kids, teens and adults. Free city programs include weekly skating, swimming, and a teen activity club. Whether your interest is badminton, yoga, dancing, Pickleball or Tae Kwan Do, the Community Associations have such programs.

The public library offers many no charge opportunities for casual reading or lifelong learning. It has close to 20 regular weekly programs, and there are always special events on the go.  

The majority of our winter days still allow for outdoor enjoyment. The City of Moose Jaw has introduced “Crokicurl,” a great family fun activity offered at the Kinsmen Sportsplex. The outdoor rinks are operational as early in the winter as the temperature allows. There are opportunities to enjoy trail walks through Crescent Park. We are fortunate to have the walking track at YaraCentre for days when the weather just isn’t suitable for an outdoor walk.

Wakamow Valley is a gem in all seasons. The trails are great for walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Wakamow Valley offers the use of snowshoes, free of charge, from the Wakamow Valley Authority Office.

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be a highlight in Moose Jaw this February, from the 14th to the 23rd. The organizers and volunteers did such a great job when we hosted the Scotties in 2015 that Canadian women’s curling is coming back again. We are fortunate to have Mosaic Place as a great venue for the event, and to have dedicated organizers and volunteers who are willing to make the effort needed for it to succeed. For those avid curling fans who want to watch games all week, or for those who only want to see a game or two, the Tournament of Hearts will be an exciting event.

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport recognizes that sport and recreation provide many benefits to the citizens of our province and improve the quality of life in Saskatchewan. The Government of Saskatchewan and the federal government work together on sport, physical activity and recreation initiatives. Shared funding agreements between the federal government, the Government of Saskatchewan and Sask Sport provide opportunities for persons from under-represented groups to actively participate in sport as athletes, coaches, officials and volunteer leaders.

Winter can be a great time to enjoy Saskatchewan's diverse provincial parks. In the Parks there are exciting outdoor adventures including tobogganing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, fishing, ice fishing and cultural events.

The trails at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park provide excellent cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. On Family Day weekend, February 15th, there will be a Winter Fun Day from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can take advantage of Buffalo Pound’s winter events by visiting the fabulous tobogganing hill, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing around the Lower Chalet campground and seeing the park through a different view. There will be hot chocolate, marshmallows and hotdogs to enjoy. Family Day weekend will also be free fishing weekend in Saskatchewan.

We have so many opportunities to enrich our lives in our city and our province, even through our winter months. I hope you will all find ways to stay active and celebrate our Saskatchewan winter.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  

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