Whenever I see people doing something with passion, something sparks inside me and I feel the need to tell their stories.
That’s how I felt this week about two different projects in town.
The first one was at Kager Lake. The Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association (BLMBA) is building a new shelter next to Kager Lake’s parking lot. I think it’s important to point out that the shelter is being built entirely by volunteers.
Although BLMBA volunteers spend a lot of their free time working on the Kager Lake Recreation Site, they don’t seem to mind any of that work.
One of the members told me they feel “very lucky” to have that site so close to home.
The new shelter will provide a place for people to hide from bad weather and will be a place to set up registration tables for bike camps and other events.
In addition to the new shelter, BLMBA is also taking steps to ensure that the recreation site becomes universally accessible.
Thankfully, the community seems to respond really well to all their hard work.
Kai Epkens, BLMBA director, said they were able to cut down the cost of the shelter considerably thanks to donations that were provided by local businesses and community members, including construction material and manpower.
Another project that impressed me this week was the Burns Lake Community Garden, known for some as the ‘secret garden.’ That’s because up until a few months ago, many people in town didn’t even know it existed.
And I don’t blame them. The garden is perfectly hidden by houses, trees and even a playground. The garden is located on land adjacent to Immaculata Church, but you won’t see it driving along Third Avenue.
Once you’re past the trees that hide the beautiful garden, I guarantee you will be impressed by what you see.
In just a few months, the newly-formed Burns Lake Community Garden Society has given that abandoned garden a complete makeover.
The garden went from having just a few beds and a serious thistle infestation last year to 21 fully-booked beds and a complete new look.
Before I spoke with Tracey Payne, president of the Burns Lake Community Garden Society, I was under the impression that the project was already completed.
After all, they are fully booked and the garden looks amazing.
But Payne is nowhere near done, and she wanted to talk about the several projects the society has planned.
The most interesting thing about my visit to this garden was something that Payne said about her experiences as a gardener. She said she learned that a garden always “reveals itself.” She meant that gardeners are only the facilitators of beauty.
That’s why the society is still waiting to see what direction the garden will take. She said it’s still too soon to know what will be the focus of the garden – elderly, children or community outreach.
There’s always so much more to these projects we see around town and it’s great to see people so engaged.