During COVID restrictions, many citizens increased their time outdoors. Crowds of Winnipeggers used the river trail in the cold season, many of them experiencing it for the first time. This will likely result in continued increased use after the pandemic.
Progressively drier summers have resulted in steeper banks along the river due to lower water levels. The situation requires additional safe access points to the river path.
I have heard residents of Osborne Street North complain about the limited access to the trail from their neighborhood. I regularly accessed the Crescentwood trail last winter.
The Wolseley Winter Wonderland Committee is an ad hoc group of the Wolseley Residents Association.
“The group has raised funds to install access ramps to the river trail and are exploring other options and working with the city of Winnipeg,” said a spokesperson for the WRA.
According to the organizer of the ad hoc committee Michael Bennett, the river bank is only accessible to able-bodied people.
“We have acquired materials and plans designed by architects to dramatically improve access to key points along ‘Wonderland’, including wheelchair access,” Bennett said.
“Make it accessible, and they will come.” ”
The city maintains a few water trail access points – one to the Red River on the northeast side of the Norwood Bridge near the Forks, and another to the Assiniboine River from the Hugo Street wharf off Wellington Crescent. The Forks offers a third access point.
According to a draft vision document approved by the City of Winnipeg in 2014, titled Go … to the Waterfront, Winnipeg has more than 240 kilometers of riverfront, almost half of which is state owned.
According to a city spokesperson, “the draft waterfront plan remains” an active planning document for the city of Winnipeg. ”
I am encouraged that the City of Winnipeg is providing greater public access to our two rivers in the summer.
Three kayak / canoe launch locations currently exist. One each at John Bruce Road and Crescent Drive parks and one at the Louis Bakó River landing off Waterfront Drive.
An additional non-motorized access point was due to open in mid-summer.
“This year, a new kayak / canoe launching ramp is under construction in LaBarrière Park which will include a boat disembarkation and turnaround area as well as an accessible path leading to a new onboard launching ramp. sea, ”said a spokesperson for the city.
“The City does not undertake to set up additional entry / exit points on the river path,” added the spokesperson, when questioned. “He is reviewing his options for next winter but no decision has been made.”
We are fortunate to experience the beauty and fun of a river trail most winters. Let us facilitate its use for all citizens during the long cold season as well as during the summer.
Armande Bourgeois Martine is correspondent for Crescentwood. Contact her at [email protected]