Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/3/2018 (575 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It is important for people living an urban lifestyle to stay in touch with the outdoors.
Many of us living in the city don’t have much time to spend in the natural environment. The Seine River Greenway provides us that opportunity without having to leave the city.
The Seine River Greenway runs for 26 kilometres through the southeast portion of Winnipeg. The river and surrounding woodlands are home to many different types of wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, foxes, beavers, owls, hawks, snapping turtles, painted turtles, fishers, garter snakes, woodchucks, bald eagles, great blue heron and many more.
Most people think you must leave the city to see wildlife like this but it is in abundance around the Seine River. There are areas of the greenway which will make you feel like you aren’t in a city but rather in a deciduous forest, deep in the wilderness.
Those living in St. Vital, Southdale, Windsor Park, or St. Boniface have this wonderful getaway opportunity right in their area and many don’t even realize it. The Seine is an excellent river for paddling, with a steady flow, beautiful scenery, and abundant wildlife to make the adventure more exciting.
Trails along the river and its surrounding woodlands offer a great opportunity for nature walks, running, biking, and bird watching. The river itself provides fishing opportunities for local anglers who don’t have time to leave the city.
The Seine River Greenway is monitored and maintained by a non-profit organization called Save Our Seine (SOS). Employees and volunteers of SOS are dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enhancing the natural environment and heritage resource of the Seine River, and to restoring features of the environment which have been degraded.
Unfortunately, since the Seine flows through an urban environment, it collects an undesirable amount of litter and junk.
Every summer, SOS hires a team of River Keepers to clean up the river and surrounding forests. The responsibilities of this team are to increase water flow by hauling out fallen trees, breaking up log jams, removing organic debris, clearing the river and surrounding areas of litter, maintaining trails along the river, removing invasive plant species from surrounding areas, and assisting with other projects of SOS.
Every season, the team works towards bringing the river as close as possible to its natural state.
Throughout the summer of 2017, the team pulled out 46 full garbage bags worth of litter, 32 shopping carts, 21 tires, five bicycles, one mattress and much more. Over 90 full yard-waste bags of invasive weeds were also removed from areas along the river. If you frequent the Seine area, you may have seen this team on the river working out of a tin row boat, fixing trails, or driving their bright blue van from site to site.
I am a natural resources management student and have worked on the Seine River as a River Keeper for four seasons. This time has given me a lot of perspective about the river and the challenges it faces given its urban environment.
I hold hope that one day, more people will realize the potential of the Seine and treat it with the respect and appreciation it deserves. I hope these people can discover all the beauty and excitement the Seine River has provided me.
If you wish to donate to Save Our Seine or would like more information on the organization, please visit saveourseine.com
Mitchell Samborski has been a Save Our Seine River Keeper for four summers.