Community Help Moving Campground Ahead
Although the camping season is nearing a close, the improvements at Snipe Lake Community Campsite in Alberta are in full swing.
The 23-acre campground is situated about 30 miles southwest of High Prairie, on the shores of Snipe Lake, and is open for campers from mid May until mid-September, the South Peace News, High Prairie, reported,
The campsite is organized and operated by the Snipe Lake Community Campground Association, a not-for-profit organization.
“This year we’re focusing on fixing what we’ve got established here, then we will expand,” said Randy Ehman, the association’s president for the last five years.
There are currently 25 unserviced campsites available at Snipe Lake, but plans are in the making to expand to as many as 60.
Due to the high levels of rainfall this year, Snipe Lake has seen numbers lower than usual.
“People who have come out here this summer have been parking in puddles,” Ehman said. “We’re working on fixing the drainage issues, and they will be addressed by this fall.”
Another barrier for success at Snipe Lake is the road out to the campground.
With a number of oil wells in the area, the road is frequented by heavy trucks and machinery, leaving it in poor condition.
Apache Corp., an oil and gas exploration company with investments in the area, has significantly improved the road out to the campground in the past few weeks.
“With funding and cooperation, we will be able to do a lot of things,” Ehman said.
This year, Snipe Lake campground has received funding from the municipalities of Big Lakes, Greenview and Smokey River.
Big Lakes has provided $5,000 to go toward operating costs.
Smokey River has contributed $5,000 for capital and another $2,000 for operating costs. Lastly, the Greenview has given the campground organization $35,000 in capital and another $5,000 per year for operating costs.
“This money, it’s going to help get our feet under us,” Ehman said
Although there is no electricity at Snipe Lake, the small store is powered by solar panels, and the association plans to bring solar electricity to the storage shed – a converted school bus – on the property.
Campers have access to potable water, and camp attendant Vern Johansson lives at the campground during the summer months, to keep the campsites in good repair and to work on improvements.
The community association is also working on collecting information and historical facts about the campground, and plans to convert the current cookhouse into a mini museum.
There are also plans to turn an eight-acre site by the Alder Ridge bridge into a picnic area on the shores of the Little Smokey River.
The beach at Snipe lake was discovered by two men in a rowboat in 1979. Robert Forshner and Pete Eubar discovered the site while Forshner was working on an oil lease in the area at the time while traveling northward on Snipe Lake.
Construction began on the campground in 1980.