The results are in.
The people of Eston voted 188 to 11 last week to keep the gopher as a symbol of the town.
Economic Development Director Jody Schmidt said she is delighted with the number of people who took the time to vote. She said “it was great to see the passion from the community surrounding the gopher, both for and against.”
Community members past and present spoke about the importance of the gopher’s history to the community, and its reach around North America. Votes were mixed on the gopher races themselves, but the symbolism was very well received. Comments included:
Have to keep it – it’s Eston.
It’s known around the world.
He is part of Eston’s heritage.
It’s the town’s unique identifier.
Love the golden fields and harvest moon but the gopher is classic; have both.
Schmidt says the local Thrive Saskatchewan committee, which was responsible for the vote, will meet early in the new year to decide on the next steps in developing the gopher campaign.
At a meeting in early November, representatives of local governments and organizations met with the sponsoring agencies and selected three initiatives to begin working on. These include revitalizing the urban orchard, re-establishing the River Trek and highlighting the gopher as part of our heritage. This vote on bringing back the gopher was one of the first steps in the process.
Thrive Saskatchewan is a province-sponsored economic development project aimed at keeping communities resilient and viable.