Efforts to turn Hudson's Bay Slough into a formal wetlands attraction inside the city will take some big strides on Thursday.
The Prince George Naturalist Club is hosting an evening walk around the historically- and conservationally-unique area. Those leading the walk like the PGNC's Clive Keen will discuss the hopes and possibilities for this proposed development.
"The trick would be to put in observation features, always have something to go to, give people rewards for going just a little bit further," he said. "The benefit we have on this is, a lot of the trail system is already in place and you could put it together gradually in parts. You could put in boardwalks, a bridge over the bull-rushes at the west end, a decent tower overlook or two, you'd have to establish a route closer to the water on the north side, interpretive signs, there really is no end to what could be done, but you don't have to build it all at once."
The idea has been gathering momentum for more than a year, including a presentation to city council. The group asked for no money, only permission to use the municipal land and perhaps some future in-kind contributions.
The group is already fundraising and is open to donations of cash or materials. A website has been set up to explain the proposal in careful detail and give a place for those interested in helping to make contact.
The benefits are broad, said Keen. It would be a living outdoor classroom, an attraction for bird watchers and other creature-spotters, a place to walk or jog, a natural connection to the activities of Exploration Place and Fort George Park at the east end, a revitalization method for the VLA neighbourhood at the west end (near Norwood Street), a chance to foster authentic human-nature connections, and all within five minutes of downtown.
At only two kilometres for the circle route, and all of it gentle terrain with plenty of visual appeal, it is an easy education/recreation activity for all ages and most levels of mobility.
Anyone wishing to see the proposed route and get a detailed description of the Hudson's Bay Wetlands dream - while enjoying a leisurely walk of about an hour - can meet at the Exploration Place parking lot at 7 p.m. For more information visit the website (hbwetland.wordpress.com) or email pgnaturali...@gmail.com.