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Little Mountain Park more than a place for dogs
There’s 160 acres of unspoiled, city-owned wooded land located within the
Perimeter, but to say it’s a Winnipeg park isn’t quite right.
Sound confusing? It is, and many people still don’t know much about Little Mountain Park, which lies above Winnipeg’s northwest corner on Farmer Avenue, just off Route 90.
Founded as a civic park in 1965, the land once contained two operating limestone quarries, remnants of which can still be seen by visitors.
Part of the confusion arises from the fact that the park is owned by the City of Winnipeg, but lies outside its boundaries, within the RM of Rosser.
Winnipeg councillor Brian Mayes (St. Vital) calls the park "an orphan", but he could be said to be stepping in as its foster parent by making Little Mountain Park’s future the topic of an upcoming public meeting.
"I’m trying to get ideas about what it needs," Mayes said.
In his role as chair of the Mayor’s Environment Advisory Council, Mayes realized no other councillor was taking responsibility for the park. This means it hasn’t been receiving funding through any councillor’s ward budget.
However, that doesn’t mean the park’s been forgotten. In fact, it’s a favourite destination for dog owners and their pets who use the trails winding through aspen woods as a year-round recreational destination.
One of Little Mountain Park Dog Club’s founders, Kristy Greening, and her family, including two labs and a shepherd cross, live close to the park in the Garden Grove neighbourhood. She said they use it every day as an off-the-leash area.
"You can walk for miles with your dog," she said. "There are hundreds who use it every single day."
She said the trees provide shelter from winter’s cold winds.
While Little Mountain Sportsplex and The Players Course are recreational businesses located next to the park, Little Mountain Park itself just contains barbecue pits, picnic tables and washrooms that are open for part of the year.
Greening said the Dog Club was recently formed to provide a voice for the dog owners who want to preserve their off-the-leash space. They plan on attending the public meeting, which Mayes said will be held in late May.
Lloyd Johnson, who has used the park for dog walking since the mid-1990s, said he’ll try to get the word out about the public meeting through his Little Mountain Park Pet Owners association website at www.lmppoa.ca
Greening mentioned a rumour that CentrePort Canada might want to run a highway through or close to the park, and Johnson said a roadway is shown on maps put out by CentrePort.
Riva Harrison, CentrePort’s executive director of communications and marketing, said she was aware there is talk of a road being constructed to meet CentrePort Canada Way if Chief Peguis Trail is extended westward along Jefferson. However, at this time, there’s no truth to the rumour.
"Since day one, the park has been protected as green space on our land use plan," she said.
Mayes said the meeting’s date and location will be made public.
"We will have a report back to the mayor and get it into the budget," he said.
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