The land directly across from the Summer Village of Argentia Beach is now officially a part of the great Trans Canada Trail.
The Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail was named after the Graves family, who have been apart of the area since Leonard Graves first purchased the land in 1913.
An offiical grand opening was held on Aug. 26.
Kelly James, director of the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary, says in 1996 the farmers that owned the land sold two quarter sections to the Summer Village of Argentia Beach. The village came together to purchase the land in an effort to stop development, protect the sanctity of its natural state, as well as help prevent damage to the health of the lake ecosystem.
“And it sat from 1996 to 2016,” said James.
In learning there were grants available to help fund the creation of community trails for the Trans Canada Trail, James set about applying.
A grant of $115,000 from the federal government, split 50/50 between Trans Canada Trial and Alberta TrailNet was awarded to the project.
“Most of the funding was for Canada’s 150th birthday,” said James.
Approximately $27,000 was given by the County of Wetaskiwin to provide an additional section of the trail to create a loop system in the Argentia Beach portion of the trail.
Dale Graves, grandson of Leonard Graves, was on-site to say a few words and cut the ribbon.
Graves says in the past his family had used the land for cattle and logging before selling it.
“It is a great honour to have this trail named after the Graves family and to be asked to cut the ribbon and officially open the trail,” said Graves.