The Village of Roche Percee will be upgrading the area around their provincial historic site, after receiving a Coal Transition Initiatives Grant.  

The $233,200 grant will be used to complete upgrades and clean up the provincial historic site.  

Mayor of the Village of Roche Percee Jay Riedel said this has been a three-year process.  

His original idea was to have streetlights installed to prevent people from vandalizing the rocks at night, and it snowballed from there. After discussing the installation of the light with Sask. Power and Sask. Parks it was decided that grant money would help with the improvements.   

Reidel added that the changes could not be made without the help, and support of Sask. Parks, Southeast Sask. Economic Partnership and the RM of Coalfields.

The plans for the upgrades include adding signs on the highway, and in other key areas that will point individuals to the caves.  

“We notice a lot of people come from out of the area. They don’t realize that there’s more in behind the rocks on the highway.” 

Reidel said he is hoping to get the community involved with the clean-up process.  

He is also planning on adding a cement pad out front with flagpoles, lighting to illuminate the rocks at night, and a streetlight.  

There is also a plan to add a QR code out front so that people will be able to easily access a website that can educate visitors about the history of the landmark.  

He added that this would also be a great opportunity for people from the community who have the knowledge and stories about the past to have a place to record and preserve it for the future.  

The rock formation has a rich history, as a First Nations landmark, in the coal industry and as a police landmark.  

Reidel said that July will mark the 150th anniversary of the Northwest Mounted Police coming through the area. 

“Since we’ve been able to get the road paved going in there, that made things even better,” said Reidel. 

He noted that one problem over the years is that people are excited to sign their name at the site, but don’t realize they are signing over historical names or symbols.  

Reidel said he was considering getting it protected as a historic site. 

“I think that’s what we really need to do now for future generations, is to try and protect and preserve everything so it’s not forgotten about, and people can enjoy it.” 

After this project, Reidel is looking at getting the Rec Centre back up and running.  

“In 2011 we had a devastating flood that wiped out half the town. So we’re still kind of recovering from that.”  

He added that following the flood the community spirit dwindled, as many families left the area. 

“I think it would be a good opportunity for people to come together from Roch Percee itself and the surrounding area,” said Reidel. “Let’s get some volunteers out and let’s have some fun. Let’s revitalize this place and put it back on the map where it should be.”