The weather was ideal on Saturday, September 19 for the official opening of Bittersweet Way, our initiative to enhance the Greenway with a commemorative circle, signage and landscaping. Seeds of the project began growing 5 years ago, shovels hit the ground in 2019, and finally this fall we had an opportunity to show off our work and thank all of those who helped make it happen.
To wrap up the event, bittersweet vine, the namesake of the project, was planted near the commemorative circle. If you have not had a chance yet, you should visit the circle to read the plaques to take in the rich history of St.Vital and the former Lot 47 on which you stand.
We here at Bishop Grandin Greenway are anticipating the official opening of Bittersweet Way the morning of September 19. It will be a small and safe ceremony allowing for plenty of physical distancing, but it will be an important milestone for us. A great deal of thought and planning went into the project including the commemorative circle, which tells important stories about the history of St.Vital.
The more visible part of the project is the retaining wall signage, right at the intersection of St.Mary's Rd. The berm, in behind the retaining wall, is in the process of being transformed into a naturalized area with native plants, wildflowers and grasses. We just finished our first phase of planting 100 native plants and grasses, and will continue next spring with many more! It will take a few years to get established, but we're off to a good start thanks to the help of dedicated volunteers and the donations of generous supporters.
There is much work yet to do, but with the assistance of the Manitoba Master Gardeners, Winnipeg Wildflower Project and Prairie Originals, the end result should be terrific. Visit our Donation page to help contribute to this project, or let us know if you're interested in getting directly involved!
Working from home got you down? Spending to much time inside, sitting?
As we grapple with social distancing and our active options are limited, don’t undervalue the power of walking. Medical professionals have proven that it has substantial health benefits -- physical as well as mental. We know that it helps improve mood, remedy mild depression and reduce physiological stress indicators; not to mention cardiovascular benefits such as reducing blood pressure, weight management and lower blood sugar. It can also aid digestion and even help you sleep better at night.
Where you plan to walk can play a significant role in your experience. A large body of evidence links the benefits of green space to mental health. Green urban areas serve as a respite from traffic and concrete while aiding in relaxation and reducing stress. According to the World Health Organization, urban green spaces are essential to human well-being, both physically and emotionally.
Years back I worked with young students in Grade 4 who were “opting out” of their Physical Education classes. The purpose of the project was to understand why these kids were avoiding a class promoting physical activity. The kids helped me draw up a list of all kinds of activities and, by secret ballot, ranked them, with the top 10 being the ones they’d do.
I learned a lot from these kids! One lesson was “reframing”. On the bottom of the list -- the thing they least wanted to do -- was “walking”, but what topped the list was “hiking”! What was the difference, I asked? Well we WALKED down to the nearby river, WALKED along the banks while we skipped rocks, balanced on logs, and checked out the water looking for frogs and other critters. They reframed walking to be a different experience from hiking.
The lesson: Be mindful of what brings you joy and "reframe" your walk to be that experience: golfing, bird watching, geocaching, power walking, walking to music, checking out Winnipeg Rocks, mindful walking, walking your errands … walk the Greenway.
Bishop Grandin Greenway is a 5 km swath of green; a deliberate contrast to the concrete and the cars driving just to the south of it. A linear park ... an east-west active transportation corridor between the Red and Seine rivers. It is lined with grasses, burr oak, aspen, and river bottom trees; enhanced by Apakway, Eagles and Natures’ Haven ponds -- refuges for water fowl, and marsh and grasslands birds. Travel through a diversity of habitat zones: aquatic, wetlands, lowlands and uplands containing plant and animal life native to the area. You can walk it, skate it or ride your bike, but regardless of how you choose to experience it, you will nurture your physical, social as well as mental health.
Get up! Get out and get going!
For years the team at Bishop Grandin Greenway has organized a Spring Clean-up event in the spring that has brought the community together and removed thousands of pounds of garbage from the Greenway.
This year, with the need to avoid personal contact to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we thought it best to cancel the formal event. However, we still want to clean up the Greenway, and some of you have expressed an interest in helping as well. Therefore we have arranged for a Spring Clean-Up Week! Here's how it works:
From Sunday May 3 to Saturday May 9
THANK YOU FOR HELPING!
Bishop Grandin Greenway is looking for new volunteers! We have 2 new board positions available, and if that's not for you, we are always looking for friends to help with miscellaneous tasks around the Greenway.
The new board positions are for Community Relations Volunteer and Fund Development Officer. See the files below for descriptions of these volunteer board positions, as well as the general community volunteer role, and fill out the volunteer application form if you're interested in joining our team! We'll keep this up until the end of December, and will review in early January.
If you walked along the Greenway in the late summer or fall, you may have noticed what appeared to be a bed of straw just off the trail west of St.Mary’s Rd. What could the purpose of that be? Let us tell you!
The bed of straw is actually a wildflower garden plot, planted by a new organization called Winnipeg Wildflower Project. The garden plot contains several different varieties of wildflowers and grasses sourced from Prairie Originals, and the straw helps the young plants get established by suppressing weeds and preserving soil moisture. Once established, seed from the plot will be collected to grow native grasses and wildflowers elsewhere in the city
Nicole Webster and Kelly Leask, the coordinators of Winnipeg Wildflower Project, approached Bishop Grandin Greenway about the project after their original location, the former site of Crampton’s Market further down Bishop Grandin Blvd, fell through. The plot was established with the help of a grant from Taking It Global in partnership with the Government of Canada/Canada Service Corps, as well as the assistance of several volunteers.
With the onset of winter the plot will soon be covered in snow, but we look forward to seeing the garden develop next spring and will bring you more updates as that happens. If you’re on Instagram, follow @wpgwildflowerproject for great photos and videos of the project as it progresses.
UPDATE (05/02): There is a 40% chance of rain on May 4 according to the forecast. May 4 is still a "go" right now, but if necessary, we will move the clean-up to our rain date of May 11. Check back here for updates.
We are holding our annual Spring Cleanup on Saturday, May 4, beginning at 9:30 AM and running to about noon.
There is no need to sign up in advance. Just show up at the corner of St.Mary's Rd and Bishop Grandin where you'll find a sign-up sheet, garbage bags, and a few other things. There will be Bishop Grandin Greenway volunteers on hand to answer any questions you might have.
We hope to see you there. Everybody is welcome!
Big things are in store for 2019!
The volunteer board of Bishop Grandin Greenway Inc held a planning session in January to iron out some of the details of the Bittersweet Way project that we've been working on.
Bittersweet Way is an enhancement north-east of the intersection of Bishop Grandin Blvd. and St.Mary's Rd that includes new signage, landscaping, and a secondary train leading to a circular rest area with visual markers that commemorate the historical significance of the area.
We have some funding lined up and construction is expected to start this spring! There may also be some related shrub-plantings, and of course our annual spring clean-up, so stay tuned!
Bishop Grandin Greenway will be holding its annual spring clean-up on Saturday, May 5, beginning at 9:30 AM at the corner of St.Mary's Rd and Bishop Grandin Blvd.
Boots and gloves are recommended, but we will provide garbage bags, and will have water for refilling water bottles. There are rumours of donuts as well!
Come help us keep the Greenway clean!
We have a new look!
Our website has been moved over to a new, modern platform that will allow for easier updates and improved functionality. The old site served us well, but required manual coding for even the smallest updates.
With the new platform, the content will be more current and interactive. Users will be able to leave comments on the blog posts and contact us directly through the site, and soon we will be accepting donations on-line.
We are still fine-tuning some aspects of the web site, but we hope you enjoy the new look and come back often.