Store renovations and the addition of a new ball court project are among the highlight at Kipabiskau Regional Park this summer.
Kevin Moulds, the park's administrator, has been with the park since 2019. He credits the long-term staff for how successful the park has become in operating. Two of their main full-time employees that manage the maintenance have been there close to 20 years and the restaurant manager has been there for over 10 years.
Moulds said the cabin owners' association were the ones who spearheaded the ball court project. The ball court project consists of two pickleball courts that can convert into a volleyball court and a 3-on-3 basketball court that converts into a ball hockey court. The cabin owners' association applied through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) and were approved for funding, with additional help coming from the Kay Montgomery Trust Foundation. The total cost of the project was $121,459.
The store renovations were completed by grants like the Enabling Accessibility Fund of around $85,000. An additional $25,000 was also donated by the Kay Montgomery trust Foundation. Moulds said that she used to have a cabin at Kip and is still contributing to the park long after her death. The store was completely revamped on the outside and the addition of a new upper deck and a roof covering the lower deck on the outside.
In 2019, a new shower house building was built and in 2016 a new playground structure was installed at the park. They expanded the campgrounds 10 years and have 62 seasonal campsites with 24 additional sites that can be rented on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. They have also acquired the Guys and Gals campground that has 12 seasonal campsites and one rental cabin.
Kipabiskau Regional Park is run by a volunteer board of 10 members. There are two representatives from the Town of Tisdale, the City of Melfort and RM of Pleasantdale and four members at large. These board positions used to be held by councillors of each of these municipalities but are now mostly members that reside in each municipality and have a direct interest in the park.
Kipabiskau became a Regional Park in 1965. Before that the Tisdale Fish and Game League operated the resort in the late 1940s. They changed the name of the resort and lake to Kipabiskau, a Cree word meaning Stoney Lake.
Among other highlights, the Kipabiskau Regional Park also has the popular and prestigious Kipabiskau Water Sport Club. This last summer two of their participants won the Canadian national championship in B.C. and went on to compete in the Worlds at Portugal where Marin Wempe-Monz placed fourth. Moulds said with Kipabiskau being mostly calm, it makes for a great lake to practice water sports with little waves that would cause unkind conditions for skiers. Kipabiskau Lake is also a great place for fishing, and it draws anglers from all over the province.
Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, SASKTODAY.ca