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Coalhurst Parks and Rec Society nominated for Impact Award

Posted on May 11, 2022 by Sunny South News

By Cal Braid
Sunny South News

The Coalhurst Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS) was honoured for their work in the community.

The Volunteer Lethbridge Gala held on April 28, awarded the CPRS a nomination for Group and Business Community Impact. The Gala also recognized contributors from five other categories: Community Inclusion, Lifetime Service, Good Neighbour, Leaders of Tomorrow, and Community Leaders.

Stephenie Karsten, president of the CPRS, was a recipient of a Community Leaders nomination as well. She explained the mission of the society is to, “bring events, activities, and recreational opportunities that are accessible to everyone to our great little community.” Her volunteer roles with the Coulee Kickers Soccer Association Board, Friends of Coaldale Elementary School (CES) Society, CPRS, CES School Council, and the Town of Coalhurst Rec and Culture Committee were recognized as exemplary, and she was nominated as such.

Karsten explained in 2016, the society was formed to fundraise for a spray park in Coalhurst. The campaign for the spray park was realized through “a small group of really talented grant writers,” and smaller fundraisers. The CPRS “raised a total of $191,000 and the Town contributed the remaining funds. (The Town) also enhanced the original scope by allocating additional funds for the utility building/picnic shelter, bathrooms, and change rooms. The spray park was a wonderful example of a partnership between a dedicated group of community volunteers and the Town of Coalhurst.”

The CPRS is active and dedicated to “exploring future community enhancements and capital projects through a community feedback survey which was completed this fall through the Recreation and Culture Committee.” Karsten, who has been present throughout the society’s time in Coalhurst, became a director in 2018, then vice-president in 2021, and was elected as president on April 13, 2022. As with many non-profits, their organization is impactful thanks to its backbone of volunteers.

“We have a small and mighty group of nine dedicated volunteers who sit on our board, all of them giving their time and energy selflessly and often unseen,” Karsten said. “We truly have the best group of community leaders in our society, and we work so well together; it’s more fun than work.”

The society has an ongoing slate of activities for the spring and summer. Over the weekend, they hosted the Coalhurst Spring Craft Fair and Market with over 30 local vendors.

“Prior to Easter in April, we invited a ‘neighbour’ to teach our First Learn from Your Neighbour’ event,” Karsten said.

“Janet Tilbe from Fort Macleod came and taught a small group of us how to decorate Ukrainian eggs. This event was ticketed and included all the supplies and snacks for $10. We have in the works many other ‘Learn from Your Neighbour’ events and are actively seeking out community members to share their talents and skills with us in this meaningful event series.”

Thursday nights in May and June, the CPRS hosts free fitness classes from 7-8 p.m. On May 27, they plan to host a free community board game night where community members of all ages can come to play games, eat snacks, and meet someone new.

“CPRS is also weeks away from launching a 21-hole disc golf course spread throughout our community,” Karsten announced. “We have fundraised to pay for over half the course and we have the materials ordered. We are just waiting to start getting it installed and hoping to have it ready for use by early summer. We are looking into an official grand opening and possible disc golf tournament at Coalhurst Miner’s Days weekend this August 26-28.”

They will also be hosting a party in the park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, and a movie in the park, at dusk, as part of Coalhurst’s Miner’s Days.

The society meets monthly,” to plan and dream up ideas, and some of the volunteers spend as much as a part-time job volunteering with planning or grant writing, or setting up events and contacting sponsors, and meeting on subcommittees. The volunteer hours are dependent on how much you want to be involved in and what your passions and skills are,” Karsten said.

“We will also be launching our website in the summer, so until then, please follow our Facebook page to keep up to date with our society and all the adventures we have planned. To get involved or to attend one of our meetings which take place the second Wednesday of the month, email us at or message us on Facebook.”

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