Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Cultivating meaningful connections at the Hannin Creek Educational Facility

Partnership between Sask Polytech and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation celebrated at international event

Six years ago, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (SWF) joined forces to renovate and enhance the site at Hannin Creek, just north of Prince Albert on the shores of Candle Lake. Since then, their partnership has bloomed into a handful of new alliances, allowing people from across the province to enjoy the natural beauty of the site, participate in educational workshops and build lifelong memories. 

"Sask Polytech and SWF have the shared goal of enhancing outdoor education and fostering an appreciation for conservation in future generations," says Hamilton Greenwood, Sask Polytech Natural Resources program head and instructor. "Since we renovated the site, we've attracted a number of other organizations and groups who share our values."

This year, this unique partnership behind Hannin Creek won a silver medal in the IPN-Global Best competition, sponsored by the Conference Board of Canada and the International Education Business Partnership Network.

For SWF, the partnership is a way to continue their own outreach efforts, which includes youth conservation camps and women's outdoor weekends, while ensuring they can meet their own organizational goals.

"Hannin Creek allows us to introduce a whole new demographic to the great outdoors," says SWF executive director Darrell Crabbe. "By using the facility, we can teach practical skills such as hunting and fishing while allowing program participants to discover a self-confidence they never knew they had."

"This partnership enables us to offer enhanced learning opportunities at Hannin Creek, with better resources and facilities that allow better access to the outdoors," says Crabbe.

The facility, which also provides Sask Polytech students with exceptional opportunities for applied learning and research, proves to be useful for a number of other organizations looking to promote interest and a commitment to ecosystems and effective resource management.

The Saskatchewan Co-operative Youth Program uses the Hannin Creek facility to host their annual youth summer camp. The summer camp sees dozens of young adults from all walks of life come together to learn how to engage with their community while learning new skills and creating strong friendships.

"We're one-of-a-kind in Saskatchewan as the organization is 88 years old. We're youth focused, we're secular and have 43,000 program alumni," says Jamal Tekleweld, program officer at Saskatchewan Co-operative Association. "The folks at Hannin Creek are not only service providers, but are organizational allies. We are impressed with the effort and resources they have put into the facility to make it a good place to host our camp."

Partnerships like this one, as Greenwood points out, can lead to more opportunities for Sask Polytech students and more opportunities to teach principals of conversation to people across the province.

"The more positive partnerships we can grow out of this, the better off we'll be," says Greenwood. "It's really good to know that this facility has so much meaning to so many people."