It was another busy spring and summer for the Woodlawn Regional Park, thanks to the number of people who camped at the park and the other activities it offered this year.
Maureen Daoust, who is the business manager at the park, said they were really impressed with their numbers. They ended the year with 72 seasonal campers at the Souris River site, and another 84 at the Boundary Dam campground.
“Our seasonal campers were still up,” she told the Mercury. “We had anticipated that maybe with this economic downturn, we would lose some seasonal campers.”
Their short-term camping was equivalent to or better than in the past, although she didn’t have the number of short-term people who camped in the park this year.
“I know that our park last year was pretty full for short-term stays, and it was definitely at an equivalent (this year). One of our senior gatehouse attendants said she had a record weekend, I think we had 39 or 41 check-ins on one weekend, and she said that’s probably the most she’s ever had one weekend in the six years she’s been here.”
It shows that there is still an interest in recreational camping, whether it be with RVs or tents, in the Estevan area.
The park also undertook a renovation on the hall at Rotary Park, and they had a lot of positive feedback. Bookings already look pretty good for next year.
They’re hoping to do some renovations at the Doug Third Hall. It’s been home to the Estevan Gymnastics Club, but now that gymnastics is no longer using it, they look to do some work in the winter and early spring. Daoust hopes it will be in good shape for next year.
“I think for all of our user groups, we had a pretty successful season. We’ve been working on some irrigation and some other things over at the Cossette ball field, because we have fastball and slow-pitch that use that diamond.”
They also renamed the Mets Stadium baseball field as Lingelbach Field at Mets Stadium, in honour of Joe Lingelbach’s work at the venue over the past decade.
Contouring and other work was completed at the Chow Field football facility this year.
“We’re anticipating the use of that in 2020 for Estevan Minor Football as well,” she said.
Over at the Boundary Dam site, they did some work at the stage area and near the Beach Eats concession. They are in the process of putting in a regulation-sized three-on-three basketball court at Boundary Dam that can be used to host tournaments and for games. It should nicely compliment the beach volleyball courts already in place.
In terms of the staff members, Daoust said they had a really good team with gate house employees and maintenance people, including summer students and university employees. They also had a few volunteers who were central to their team.
“We had a lot of positive feedback, and not much negative comments from campers, short-term or seasonal,” she said.
The park’s focus has now shifted to the annual Christmas in the Park festivities. There will be kick-off activities on Dec. 15, which will be the evening in which the lights will be on for the first time. They will remain on until Jan. 7.
Christmas in the Park will see various businesses and organizations have decorated displays inside the campground at the Souris River facility. It has proven to be a popular attraction the last two years.
Anyone who wants to be part of Christmas in the Park can contact Daoust at email@example.com.