16th Anniversary Newsletter & Membership Renewal Campaign
– December 6, 2009
Winter’s arrival has been delayed this year by an UNREASONABLY warm November! Although, I must admit that I did get more yard work than usual completed this fall. We skiers can expect, according to Environment Canada, winter to arrive soon and, of course, the WCNSC trails will be ready! The conscientious efforts of several volunteers have helped to produce additional financial and equipment resources that will go a long way to improving trail conditions again this year. Our mandate still remains to be the production of quality trails at an affordable price. This newsletter will highlight these changes and the club’s direction for the upcoming year, including a new registration tool.
Trail Work and New Equipment
The club applied for and received a Trillium Grant this past year. These funds, and capital reserves, were used to purchase a new ATV and track kit, as well as a towable gas powered brush trimmer. After volunteers walked the trails and cleared heavy windfall, the new ATV pulled the brush trimmer, producing a very clean and well prepared surface. This was the first year that a tractor and bush hog was not utilized for this part of trail clearing. In addition, the new ATV will become the backbone of the trail grooming equipment.
The heartbeat of the WCNSC – Quality Trail Grooming
Last years new tracks on the Bombi and the addition of the Ginzogroomer combined to produce a more consistent skiing surface, especially a firmer trail for skating. The Bombi will continue to be used to prepare surfaces after large snowfalls, and the new ATV will take over the role of regular grooming and maintenance of trail surfaces.
Regular light grooming of a trail surface ensures that conditions are always as optimal as possible. You can count on re-grooming after significant accumulations of snow, usually 5 cm, and quite often grooming is completed on a Friday evening in preparation for heavier skier traffic on weekends.
The decisions to acquire a grant and purchase and upgrade equipment were made because we believe they will greatly improve our ability to groom more efficiently and to provide a higher quality ski surface.
MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL – still the best way to support this volunteer effort!
Membership fees remain the same as last year with only minor exceptions. Child and teen fees have rolled into one youth fee (under 18 yrs) and, adult and senior fees are no longer different.
- Adults $30
- Youth $15
- Family $85
NEW – Secure Web Based Registration Process
Please consider completing your membership registration online. This reduces the work of processing registrations by hand. Many ski clubs across the country are using a web based registration product provided by an independent company called Zone4. Our club is testing this tool this year. Please provide feedback on your experience so we will know if this product helps you streamline this annual registration procedure. Zone4 collects a small fee ($1-$2/skier), in addition to our fee, at the time of registration.
Join online today at the Zone4 site.
At the end of the registration process you have the option to pay by Mastercard/Visa, or to mail in a cheque. The process is reasonably straight forward – however, if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to call Bryan at 613-832-0627.
NOTE: The only data that shows up on the public side of this system is your name, all other info is collected to satisfy the skier database for Cross Country Canada, and is not available for public viewing.
We continue to offer the registration process as it existed late last year. Our website has an online form and waiver. When you submit this form, the data is sent to me, and I then go onto the Zone4 site and complete the registration data entry for you. If a paper copy of the registration form is preferred, you can pick one up from the parking lot registration bin. These need to be mailed to me for processing.
Register every time you ski!!!
Despite the fact that Fitzroy Park remains officially closed over the winter, ski club members, guests and day use skiers are permitted access through the signed agreement with Ontario Parks. When a person or family supports the ski club by purchasing a membership, they are e-mailed (new this year) a vehicle pass that should remain on their vehicle dash when in the park. Also, vehicles displaying an annual Ontario Parks Pass are permitted access to the park. ALL SKIERS are required to sign in the register, located at the far end of the parking lot, for every visit. Please record the date, skier name(s) and vehicle license number. Day Use skiers are asked to support the efforts of the WCNSC and place a per skier donation in the attached receptacle. Five dollars per skier per visit is suggested.
Please take the time to register your skiing in this manner. These statistics are important for the long term survival of the club. Accurate visitor information statistics are required by Ontario Parks and The City of Ottawa. This data is linked to funding submissions that we complete for the City.
Don’t try to second guess trail conditions by looking out your window!
The snow conditions you see from the kitchen or living room window are seldom the same as the conditions on the Perimeter Trail! The Park is quite a sheltered little enclave and it has its own microclimate. Snow accumulations and conditions vary greatly across this region and it is nearly impossible to predict the quality of the ski experience on these trails. Aggressive grooming creates a refrigeration effect that will protect trails through mild spells and extend the ski season.
If uncertain, check the website before you head out skiing. The conditions are posted after every grooming or significant weather event. Please recognize that you may see an older date on this “Current Conditions” part of the site – this simply implies that the conditions have not changed since the site was last updated.
Clubhouse and Special Events
We are very lucky to have use of a building within Fitzroy Provincial Park. The facility is equipped with a kitchen, washroom, fresh water and an area for ski waxing and tuning. Executive members will have a key and will try to have the facility open when skiing. If members want to use the facility at times that it may not be open, please call Bryan @ 613-832-0627. We encourage our club families or individuals to plan an event that takes advantage of this facility. A ski outing followed by a potluck snack or meal is a great way to entertain!
Posted events on the website continue to be the only times the clubhouse is guaranteed to be open. It is worth noting that many of the vault privies within the park are open and can be used in an emergency. Don’t forget to carry a little TP in your fanny pack!
Waxing clinics, orientation for new members, and introductory lessons are available upon request. Call Bryan @ 613-832-0627.
Many thanks to Sherri Audet for the efforts she puts into the partnership agreement with the City. Her efforts help to ensure that we continue to be recognized as a volunteer club that is providing a valuable service for this part of the region. To support the long term sustainability of this partnership, we ask that you take the time to send in comments. In particular, we love to hear stories that recognize the quality skiing experience available at Fitzroy Provincial Park! E-mail or visit the feature for feedback on the website.
Many thanks continue to be directed toward a few people that give up hundreds of collective hours to ensure the club runs smoothly. Members of the executive include Sherri Audet as treasurer, Jim Smedley as Secretary and Randy Belore as equipment manager. Randy continues to be very supportive with countless hours put into repairs and building of equipment. Additional trail grooming and maintenance volunteers include Steve Duffield, David Casey and Barry Beach. Thank-you all!!
That’s all the news for now! I hope you will find the trails and facilities in excellent condition this winter. With any luck, “mother nature” will bless us with another ‘old fashioned Ottawa Valley Winter’. Please don’t forget that this is a volunteer organization! If you feel you have the time and skills to help – we would love to hear from you.