Ensuring there will be green space for future generations to enjoy, the Kuhnen family has donated a portion of land along the lake between Blackfalds and Lacombe to Lacombe County.
A land dedication ceremony was held last week to mark the significance of the 140-acre donation of land along Lacombe Lake. Many area dignitaries and the extended Kuhnen family were all onhand for the occasion.
The green space will be now known as Kuhnen Park and is open to the public for year-round recreational enjoyment.
“It was Mr. Kuhnen and his family’s wish to have these lands maintained in their natural condition and through their preservation will allow future generations to have the same opportunity we share today to have the luxury of enjoying these surroundings,” said Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law. “Lacombe County has recognized the importance to managing green spaces and is committed to ensuring a healthy environment for all residents and communities for both today and tomorrow.
“This area surrounding Lacombe Lake will be here for the enjoyment of generations to come. Your wishes of this land to remain in its natural state for all of us to enjoy is a responsibility the County so looks forward to.”
The new park is perfectly situated right between two major communities and along the Trans Canada Trail, allowing everyone to access the area.
Frank Kuhnen, the land donator, provided a short history of the property that has been in his family’s possession for many decades.
“We have had many visions and ideas for utilizing this land to promote our activity and family enjoyment,” he said.
The first idea the family had for the property was to develop a paintball facility, followed by using the area as an animal resting ground, an RV campground and a hunting harvesting centre.
Eventually Kuhnen was approached by the County for the development of the Trans Canada Trail along the west side of his property.
“After the completion, we were very impressed the Trans Canada Trail was being used by so many families,” said Kuhnen. “And at that moment, I knew that contributing to something positive for the future was the best use for this property.”
He added after the confirmation of the land donation to the County in January, he is very pleased future generations will get to enjoy the natural environment as he and his family has.
“The Kuhnen family has worked with the Town of Blackfalds over the last number of years to help finish the Trans Canada Trail through their land,” said Town of Blackfalds Mayor Melodie Stol in her address. “Their desire to improve the area was evident and now here with this donation of land, their caring spirit and their love of this area is so evident.”
Mayor of the City of Lacombe Steve Christie also brought his congratulations on behalf of the City.
“It gives me great joy to know that the life that abounds here, not only will be protected but this beautiful gift will be enjoyed by the public for many, many years to come for all our communities,” he said.
“The Kuhnen family, through this generous donation, has demonstrated their strong commitment to community and has put their faith in all of us here today and all of us in this region to be good stewards of this land as well.”
MLA Ron Orr gave his thanks to the family for preserving not only a green space, but also life.
“By creating a space like this you have created a space for enriching the lives of Central Albertans,” he said. “You have networked communities together, so you are building communities by your donation to the County in this.”