Province invests $850,000 into Buffalo Pound

Nathan Liewicki
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Twenty-five full-service campsites to open in 2015

Lucinda Taylor enjoys the short drive from her home in Regina to Buffalo Pound Provincial Park. Not having to drive three or four hours to set up camp at one of Saskatchewan’s many provincial parks is another plus for the wife and mother of two.

Mark Docherty, minister of parks, culture and sport, announces the provincial government's $850,000 investment into Buffalo Pound Provincial Park on Tuesday. The money will be used towards the development of a new campground and upgrades to the sewage lagoon.

She also owns a large trailer – a challenge when it comes to finding a full-service campsite at Buffalo Pound that accommodates her and family.

Starting in 2015, the park will add 25 more full-service campsites, many of them with the ability to accommodate large trailers like Taylor’s.

Mark Docherty, minister of parks, culture and sport made the announcement at Buffalo Pound on Tuesday.

“I'm very excited that they're developing and doing more work on the site because it's a really nice place to come,” Taylor told the Times-Herald.

Approximately $850,000 will be invested in new the campground development, as well as upgrades to the sewage lagoon at the park. A substantial portion of the sewage upgrades are expected to be completed by late fall.

“As far as the sewage lagoon goes, it's an ongoing requirement of the park,” said Dave Bjarnason, park supervisor. “More people means more sewage and the system that we had was deemed to be ineffective.

“This is a better system, is more manageable and should be something that's with us for a long time.”

Docherty admitted that sewage may not be the “sexiest project” he’s ever announced, but re-iterated that it will benefit park visitors.

In 2013, provincial parks counted a record 3.7 million visits – 169,765 of which visited Buffalo Pound. With their services in demand, park services have to be upgraded, including more full-service sites, “a standard request” of many park visitors, said Docherty.

“We're constantly looking at all of our parks, but the recurring theme was expansion of camping spaces,” he said. “We're going to do as best we can and listen to the people.”

He added that having an opportunity to speak face-to-face with campers, like he did Tuesday, is how the ministry finds out about what people think of the park changes.

The additional campsites are a continuation of the work that started in fall 2013 on Valley campground, and Bjarnason expects them to be bustling next summer.

“We've only been able to offer two full-service sites out of our entire repertoire of campsites, so adding 25 to that is significant for us to meet the demand that has certainly been placed on us,” he said. “I foresee that those sites will be full pretty much from the May long weekend right through to September.”

Taylor said she is going to try and reserve one of those new spots when they become available in 2015.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Times-Herald

Geographic location: Buffalo Pound

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