Exploring Saskatchewan’s badlands

AVONLEA – On a hot day, water – and sunscreen – are must-haves for a trek out to the Avonlea badlands. It’s only accessible by foot and it’s a bit of a walk.

“There’s some major erosion that happened over the course of millions of years and it’s really evident in a really small pocket,” Cathy Geisler, Avonlea Heritage Museum manager explained.

A pocket so neatly tucked away on a small piece of private property, even some locals have never visited.

“I’ve never been out to the badlands in the whole time that I’ve been here, so I thought it would be really cool to come on this tour today and kind of learn about Avonlea history,” said Avonlea resident, Amy Beitel.

She mentioned a recent trip she took to Drumheller, Alberta: “I said to my husband, ‘I wish we had something like this close to Avonlea I wish we could go and see. Well, we do.”

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“It’s a unique feature. Not many places have so many different forms of land close together,” said Geisler.

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Painter Ken Dalgarno originally considered painting landscapes of the badlands as his next project when he discovered there had never been a book published on the badlands of the northern great plains. He decided to put down his paint brush and pick up his camera.

“To me, the badlands are like walking into an outdoor art gallery almost, of sculptures,” said Dalgarno.

His book, Badlands: a Geography of Metaphors received a 2014 Saskatchewan Book Award.

Focus Saskatchewan’s feature Exploring the Badlands airs on September 19th and 20th.

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