Michelle Meade is hoping Winnipeggers take a path less travelled this weekend.
Meade — who lives in south St. Vital and is the current president of Bishop Grandin Greenway — is encouraging local residents to break out of their comfort zones and try a number of activities scheduled for International Trails Day on Sat., June 1.
Bishop Grandin Greenway’s Between 2 Rivers Trails Day event will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. along the greenway (and in certain cases, beyond), which stretches a 5 km route between the Red and Seine Rivers, Meade said. There will be numerous family-friendly activities for individuals to try out, which encompass the organization’s mandate areas of history, education, activity and environment.
"A key point is that the greenway is a green space and more than a path that runs parallel to the highway. We want people to recognize the swath of land, which serves as both a linear park and active transportation route with links to St. Vital Park and the west and beyond," Meade said, noting there will be tents set up along to house many of the activities.
She said the greenway includes three retention ponds with new signs on engraved rocks bearing their names (the winning names were submitted by community members in BBG’s 2011 Name the Greenway Pond contest) and trees, plants and shrubs that include milkweed, which was planted to attract monarch butterflies. Local schoolchildren helped build a butterfly sanctuary on the greenway and have used it as an "outdoor classroom" to study the species, Meade said.
On a related note, Simone Allard, author of Manitoba Butterflies: A Field Guide will be at the event near Nature’s Haven Pond to talk about her new book and providing information about butterflies and the plants that attract them.
"The cool thing is that people walking along the trail can identify with these plants. It makes things more interesting if things can engage you," Meade said.
Other items on the schedule include a dream catcher workshop, face painting for kids, disc golf, urban poling, a lacrosse demonstration, a historical interpretation of the St. Vital area, a session on companion gardening in small spaces, a Frontier College interactive reading tent, birdhouse-making kits courtesy of Home Depot and pork slider samplers from Danny’s Whole Hog Barbecue & Smokehouse.
And for families and individuals looking for equal measures of exercise and scenery, there will be a collective bicycle ride on the South St. Vital bike loop. Led by two volunteers, the route will link three existing trails totalling 15 km and taking in the Seine River, Meade said.
"Part of the beauty of the event is that each activity is something people can do together as a family. It’s also a chance to get outside and be active," she added.
For more information, visit www.bishopgrandingreenway.com.