Wildlife camp reopened for essential workers

The Preeceville Wildlife Campground is closed to the public under government orders due to COVID-19, but special permission has been granted to allow a private essential workers camp to use the campground while working in the local Preeceville area. 

"These workers will be moving in within the next few weeks," said Heather Gawrelitza, who is looking after the campground along with husband Greg and son Lyndon for the 2020 season. 

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The Preeceville Wildlife Campground is maintained by the volunteers of the Preeceville Wildlife Club with the main caretaker over the last few years being Les Braithwaite. 

"Les Braithwaite has done a great job for many years and has made the decision to retire this year," she said.,

This past summer the club presented Braithwaite with a Preeceville Wildlife club jacket to show its appreciation for all his hard work over the years.

The campground offers electrical sites and operates on a first come, first served basis offering shower and washroom facilities. There is a sewer dumping station available for all Preeceville residents to use as a service provided by the Town of Preeceville for the local community. 

Firewood is supplied by the Wildlife Club volunteers and is to be used while camping in the campground. The club looks forward to any suggestions for improvements and is always in need of local volunteers to lend a hand with spring and fall cleanup in order to maintain the camping area. 

The campgrounds began when John Rivney had donated four acres to the wildlife federation just north of the Town of Preeceville. where the club has erected a stone cairn and a storage shed, stated an informational billboard located outside the campgrounds.

The town of Preeceville and the wildlife branch constructed a campground with 11 sites and a shower building. Not all sites have a water connection and seven out if the 11 are electric. A dump station is also available on site. The campground has been in use for the past 28 years.

The wildlife club began as the Fish and Game League, Sturgis and Preeceville branch. The very first meeting was held on February 11, 1950 in Sturgis with seven people in attendance. This was called the "Fish and Game League," until the early 1960's when Preeceville and Sturgis each formed their own clubs. Then the Preeceville branch joined the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation and membership grew from 30 in the early years to as many as 825 members. Presently the club has 348 members.

Through the years the club has supported many local projects and activities that included: poster contest, fish derby, turkey shoot, trap shooting, snowmobile derbies, stocking fish in local lakes, and forearm safety courses. It has given many monetary donations to various organizations.