One of the most influential groups in Portage la Prairie has been growing, and they're hoping you'll notice as their work ramps up.
Public relations director Preston Meier says their biggest project since 2019 is nearly complete. The club worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, and only has the final phase left to go for the duck pond rejuvenation project.
"We took one of the most iconic spots that you have in Portage right on Island Park, which was the duck pond, which has been around for, I'm going to say at least 100 years," explains Meier. "For whatever reason, it got a bit overgrown, maybe a bit forgotten and so on. So, when the club took it on in 2019, we set up a four-phase plan to really rejuvenate it."
He adds phase four is about to start, which will be kicked off by setting up a barrier between the front-end of the duck pond, which has been getting rejuvenated, and the back-end, which is a natural nesting area. Meier also says they've partnered with Homestead Co-op and Southport Aerospace Centre Inc. to add gardening features, such as perennials and other flowers to improve the pond.
One of the reasons why he feels so confident in the club is due to the number of members the club has gained in recent months.
"Like most community service groups and clubs and so on, membership does ebb and flow," says Meier. "You get some highs, you get some lows, whether it's through attrition, maybe people moving. Through COVID, our numbers did drop a little bit from that point in time. But, over the last year, we've actually seen quite a significant increase in membership. It just gives us a warm feeling to know that people want to be a part of something and be part of a group and spend time giving back to the community."
He says they've seen the largest increase in members, percentage-wise, in years. Meier's looking forward to seeing how the new members help continue the work they're doing in the city.