Hello readers and fellow interns,
Many people don’t know what it is like to grow up in a rural community, so I would like to use this blog to show you what a forestry town looks like. Please enjoy this little glimpse into my childhood and what it is like growing up in Whitecourt.
First off you need an introduction to Whitecourt:
Surprisingly, Whitecourt is a relatively large town and is located about 2 hours Northwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Home to about 10, 000 people, Whitecourt is mainly known for its vast surrounding forests. As you know, I work at ANC, the paper mill in town, however there is another mill that is closely related to forestry and that is Millar Western, a lumber and pulp mill. Given that these two forestry based mills are two of the largest employers in Whitecourt it becomes clear that forestry is a very big part of our life.
One of the most notable sites to visit in Whitecourt, and one that has been around nearly my entire life is Rotary Park. This lovely outdoor park consists of everything you could want for a nice summer day. The park has many features including a walking path, water slides, a splash park and playground, beach courts, soccer fields, and a dog park. Overall, Rotary Park is a very popular attraction for Whitecourt and neighbouring towns alike.
At this link you can find a video created by the town council to show all that Rotary Park has to offer:
Despite how beautiful Rotary Park is we have to remember that in Canada the weather is not always cooperative with our beachy lifestyles. Whitecourt’s main winter attraction is relatively new to the town and was built only a few years ago.
Eastlink Park is our local ski hill that was designed with beginner skiers and snowboarders in mind.
Originally the hill only had 2 skiing runs, a terrain park, and a tube run where riders used a magic carpet to return to the top of the hill. However, the park was recently expanded and now includes a T-bar and several new runs that have vastly expanded the park both in width and length. This park has been a big hot spot for families from all around Whitecourt to come and enjoy their winter days.
The hill also holds New Year fireworks every year with the Fire Department.
The places I have mentioned above give us the chance to enjoy the town, but what if we want to go outside of town, what is there to do?
The Allan and Jean Millar Centre is our local fitness centre that has a pool, fieldhouse, track, gym, and racquetball courts. Many birthday parties and summer camps are held here for kids to enjoy as the building is designed to be a family friendly community centre.
One of my favourite summer pastimes is to go on a peaceful float down the McLeod River. This float varies from about 3-5 hours of sunshine and forests. The river is surprisingly warm and is beautiful to swim in where it is deep enough. Just remember to wear sunscreen!
Whitecourt also has many walking and biking trails in and around the community to give people the ability to enjoy the forest with a slightly smaller time commitment. Many of the biking paths were created by the Whitecourt Mountain Biking Association, and can be used for hiking as well.
Lastly, one of the big gems of Whitecourt is our snowmobiling trails. Whitecourt is known as the Snowmobile capital of Alberta and has a large network of surrounding trails. Also, Whitecourt made the Guinness World Record book for the largest parade of snowmobiles in February of 2015 with a staggering 1047 vehicles. To this day we still hold this record.
And that’s Whitecourt in a nutshell! Thank you again for reading and learning a bit more about me and the town I grew up in. I hope you are enjoying this journey so far, keep following my blogs to see more of what I am up to this summer.