Kuhnen Natural Area opens

The Kuhnen family, from the original generation with Frank down to his great-great-grandchild, were in attendance to open the park with an official ribbon cutting. From the left, back row: Frank Kuhnen and wife Susanne, Trudy Kuhnen (behind Frank Sr.) and husband Bill, and Mike Kuhnen. Front row: Frank Kuhnen, granddaughter Peyton, great-great-grandson Aaron, Betty Kuhnen, and Beth Hawkings. ECA Review/T.Huxley

With a wide variety of natural birds, critters and a stellar viewpoint, the Kuhnen Natural Area has officially been opened for public use.

Lacombe County, the proud keepers of the land, officially opened the area to the public on Tues. June 18.

Located on the eastern side of the County, the public space features 65 acres of land running along the north side of the Red Deer River.

“The gift of this land from the Kuhnen Family exemplifies the importance community residents place on managing green space for the betterment of current and future generations,” said Reeve Paula Law.

“We appreciate this priceless gift from the Kuhnens, and are proud to protect these lands, for everyone to come out and spend time in nature.”

Local long-time residents, Frank and Rosalie Kuhnen generously donated this land to Lacombe County, who will ensure the area remains in a natural state for the public to use for passive recreational purposes.

“Our family has thoroughly enjoyed using this land,” said Frank Kuhnen. “We wanted to share the beauty of this natural area with future generations so they can experience nature first hand, as we did.”

The Kuhnen Natural Area officially opened to the public on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. the large parcel of land in Lacombe County overlooks a sea of trees and the Red Deer River. Over 80 people attended the official ribbon cutting, lunch and free nature trail with expert naturalists. ECA Review/T.Huxley

During the grand opening event, attendees enjoyed a barbeque, and tours of the area by local naturalist, Tim Schowalter, who showed people the geology and plants/animals in the natural area.

The Kuhnen Natural Area is one of the newest additions to the County’s inventory of parks and natural spaces.

The 65 acres of forested land offers lookout points onto the river valley and a trail that leads down to the water.

This special space is located south of Alix and can be accessed from Range Road 23-0, south of Highway 11.

This is also the second piece of land that the Kuhnen family has donated to the County.

In 2015, the Kuhnen’s donated 140 acres of land north of Blackfalds on Lacombe Lake – aptly named Kuhnen Park, which features trails, including access to a section of the Great Trail (formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail) that runs between Lacombe and Blackfalds.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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