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In praise of Chief Peguis Trail

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The wolf sculptures at either end of the new Chief Peguis Trail extension have turned green with oxidation over the winter.

PHOTO BY RICK SPARLING Enlarge Image

The wolf sculptures at either end of the new Chief Peguis Trail extension have turned green with oxidation over the winter. Photo Store

The Chief Peguis Trail extension connects communities from Lagimodiere Boulevard to Henderson Highway. It has improved traffic flow but it also was designed to provide environmental and social benefits.

The extension provides us with 10 kilometres of smooth asphalt routes with resting nodes at selected spots along the way. There are several interpretive and directional signs, some pointing out and describing the various plants, shrubs and trees planted in an attempt to recreate the natural surroundings that existed in Chief Peguis’s days.

The planners have made a conscientious effort to make things appear as natural as possible, including artistic features such as two sets of wolf sculptures, each featuring a pack of five wolves. One is located at the southwest corner of Lagimodiere Boulevard and Chief Peguis Trail and the other at the northeast corner of Henderson and the Trail.

The wolves at Lagimodiere Boulevard have a forest behind them and appear to blend in nicely, as the trees give the wolves a natural backdrop, but the sculptures at Henderson look totally out of place. There is a landscaping business and apartment blocks in their background which doesn’t do much for the authenticity of the Chief Peguis era, nor that of the wolf packs which roamed the area at the time.

In my opinion, the sculptures should be moved back from Henderson, approximately halfway between the highway and the Millennium Garden. There is a forest there that would make for a better backdrop and make things appear more natural.

The other problem with both sets of wolves is oxidation that has taken place over the winter and the sculptures have developed a green patina, which is the green coating.

Patina does offer a protective film but, since these sculptures cost a reported $300,000, most people would expect more realistic wolves. Hopefully the city will bring out the baking soda and lemon juice and get these wolves back to their original bronze.

Do you prefer the bronze or green?

Rick Sparling is a community correspondent for East Kildonan. Email him at ricksparling@shaw.ca

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