June 9, 2008

Urban Trail Signage Unveiled at International Trails Day Event

Urban Trail Signage Unveiled at International Trails Day Event

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A group of dedicated "trail blazers" gathered at Northeast Pioneers Greenway on Saturday, June 6, 2008 to participate in activity stations, a bike rodeo, an historical walk, and Count your Kilometres to Win contest, all in celebration of International Trails Day.

The Honorable Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Healthy Living, City of Winnipeg Councillor Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), and Milton Sussman, Vice President of Community Health Services for Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, unveiled the first trail signs and kilometre markers, 216 of which will be installed at 25 urban trails in Winnipeg throughout the summer.

"Installing signage on our urban trails will help identify the trail network and encourage people to mark their distance and extend their activity on these trails. In celebration of International Trails Day - Winnipeg's newest trail, the Northeast Pioneers Greenway is the first trail to be officially signed," Janice Lukes, Winnipeg Trails Coordinator, said.

Over 130 kilometres of trails are available in Winnipeg that meander through river bottom forests, urban jungles, pristine parks, on old railway corridors and on frosty frozen rivers during the winter.  Wherever possible, trails have been made accessible for people with mobility limitations.

Winnipeg Trails Association received a funding grant from the Province of Manitoba ($100,000) for the Winnipeg Trails Identification Signage project.

"The province supports this project which will allow more citizens to choose physical activity and healthy living in their day-to-day commute and leisure time," Minister Irvin-Ross, said. "The enhancement of trail activity benefits our community from a wellness perspective and promotes a sustainable environmentally friendly mode of transport."

"In health care we work with amazing advances in technology that improve health procedures and patient care . . . but it is exciting for me to tell you how by simply accessing Winnipeg's trails, you can have a huge impact on your everyday health and the health of our community," Sussman added.

The City of Winnipeg contributed in-kind funding ($30,000) to the Winnipeg Trails Identification signage project through installing the sign posts and attaching the trail identification and kilometre signs. Winnipeg Regional Health Authority funded ($5,000) the development and printing of 216 Kilometre signs. They will be posted on Winnipeg trails underneath the trail identification signs by end of summer – starting with: Northeast Pioneers Greenway, Sentier Cloutier Trail, Harte Trail, Bishop Grandin Greenway, and Sturgeon Creek Greenway Trail.

"The City of Winnipeg is pleased to support a city-wide branded trail signage system. The Winnipeg Trails Association worked closely with each trail stewardship organization and the City of Winnipeg in developing the themed icons for each trail," Councillor Browaty, added. "We are pleased to participate in this event on International Trails Day as we recognize the importance of investing in trails infrastructure that has a positive impact on the health and well-being of the community."

- Courtesy of the Winnipeg Trails Association

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