One of the benefits of the Chief Peguis Trail extension has been the improvement in traffic flow, specifically vehicular traffic from Lagimodiere Boulevard to points west and of course heading east from Henderson Highway to Lagimodiere.
There is no doubt this mission has been accomplished, but there are other benefits which individuals in the area will be able to enjoy.
These benefits will include environmental and social amenities such as the addition of more than 10,000 trees and 10 kilometers of asphalt trails weaving their way throughout our communities. These trails will be 3.5 metres wide with lamp posts every 45 metres or so, which will provide light and safety. There will be rest areas or nodes in key locations and interpretive signage designed to celebrate local history as well as directional signs. There will also be some sculptures connecting Chief Peguis to the project.
This is going to be fantastic for the many leisure activities in the offing. Anyone even remotely interested in getting into a healthier lifestyle will be encouraged by the results of this project.
I recently decided to take a bike ride and explore some of the already paved trails near Gateway Road. Along the way I was amazed at the various species of birds I encountered. These included a gaggle of geese, a flush of ducks, a squabble of seagulls and a magnificent pod of pelicans. Most of them were together in one of the coves enjoying a hot afternoon, one species not bothering the other. I also noticed a speckled sandpiper and a killdeer wading near the shore.
My ride was along the new trail which circles the man-made lake between Sun Valley Drive and the Chief Peguis Trail and ends at Springfield Road. Also enjoying one of the many new trees planted along the trail was a murder of crows. They were making plenty of noise and likely planning their next mission.
The trees being planted along the trails are the same as those that frequented the Prairies in the past such as aspens, oaks, poplars, birch, maple, elm and ash. These trees are being located at strategic places along the trails and adjacent to the resting areas.
There will be additional ground covering, including a variety of prairie grasses and shrubs such as wild prickly rose shrubs, hazelnuts, dogwoods, speckled alders and saskatoon bushes.
Planners are trying to recreate natural growth as much as possible. The completion date, according to Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), is expected to be near the end of August.
Rick Sparling is a North Kildonan-based writer.
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