Slough walk gets council OK
City council embraced a proposal from the Prince George Naturalists Club presented at Monday’s meeting which would create a circular walk along the sides of the Hudson’s Bay Slough.
“It’s an innovative way of doing something and a great enhancement to the city,” Coun. Cameron Stolz said. “And there’s no cost to the city.”
The proposal asks for council to support the plan in principle and allow the club to continue accessing city staff for advice and information.
Members of the club hope the walk will fulfil a number of priorities, to create an interpretative trail with a number of educational features, be a place not only naturalists will love to visit but also provide a healthy peaceful inner city walk for residents as well as showcase the environment for flora and fauna.
In addition to being a beautiful place for residents and visitors alike, club members hope to create a place where people can learn about the natural world first-hand.
The costs will be covered through external funding and volunteer efforts and come in at around $200,000. Trail improvement to a city-approved standard will be about $36,000, a bridge and boardwalks will be about $114,000, and observation features will cost about $33,000.
Stolz asked if the club had approached Ducks Unlimited yet in search of funding.
He was told they have sent correspondence requesting financial support. The group has a committee searching for a variety of funders for the project.
“We are ready to go. We are ready to work with Fisheries and Oceans and private donors,” Anne Hogan, club secretary, said.
“It’s easy to support. It’s a natural for Prince George,” Coun. Garth Frizell said, pointing out the gallery was packed with members of the club, on-hand to support the proposal.
When asked, Hogan and Dr. Clive Keen, chair of the club, explained the difference between a slough and wetland. Hogan added sharing that kind of educational information, something the nature walkway would do, would help people understand the value of storm-water management.
“I think we can show people why storm-water management is important,” she said.
“It is a chance to inform the next generation about wetlands and biology,” Frizzell agreed.