New Trails Positively Impact Community

When Michelle Williscroft, president of the Fox Creek Nordic and Trail Club, set out with club members to raise funds for a local trail system and bike park, she was met with overwhelming support.

“It has surpassed my wildest dreams,” said Williscroft of the substantial funding provided by energy companies and the local community.

Chevron Canada donated $10,000 and sent four volunteers to participate in the ground-breaking ceremony on Sept. 18, 2014. Community volunteers cleared pathways, put down gravel and sand while Chevron volunteers built bridges. “It was the best volunteer day I’ve had at Chevron,” said Mark Hornyansky, a facilities engineer who is part of Chevron Canada’s Kaybob Duvernay Appraisal Program.

Chevron Canada employees Victoria Smith and Mark Hornyansky help build bridges along the Nordic Trail in Fox Creek, Alberta.

More Than a Trail

Fox Creek has few recreational venues. The town of approximately 2,000 people has a curling club, hockey rink and outdoor swimming pool. The closest recreation centre is an hour away in Whitecourt.

“We need to bring people back to Fox Creek,” said Williscroft. “The trails provide something for everyone, and can even be used throughout the winter months for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Trail A is a place for mothers with their strollers and it is wheelchair accessible. Trail B is more for your intermediate walkers. Then the bike park is a place that will attract our high-risk youth.”

The park’s designer, Jay Hoots, agreed: “It’s more than a trail, it’s more than a bike park, it’s a culture.”

Having designed and constructed more than 50 parks in Canada, Hoots has seen the significant impact that a trail or a bike park can have on community: It’s a central hub, keeps kids and families physically active, and the community takes on ownership of the park.

“For Chevron, we invest in the communities in which we operate, funding projects in the areas of education, health and economic development,” said Victoria Smith, public affairs advisor for Chevron Canada. “We agree that this is more than just a trail; it is supporting community health and pride, making Fox Creek an even better place for its residents and visitors.”