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"In serious deterioration": Community group seeks to save Seine River trail

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A community organization is calling on the City of Winnipeg to help save a popular pathway along the Seine River.

The 2.6 kilometre-long Gabrielle Roy Trail runs along the Seine riverbank through old St. Boniface.

Grassroots organization Save Our Seine (SOS) has kept up small-scale maintenance on the trail over the years, but now the group says the trail is in very bad shape.

"It's certainly the largest and best trail in the northern area of the Seine," said SOS managing director Ryan Palmquist. "It is in serious deterioration, it's been declining for a number of years and that process has accelerated."

The trail is named in honour of author Gabrielle Roy who grew up in the area. Roy became one of Canada’s most prominent authors whose books have been read around the world.

Palmquist said the trail is near collapse at several points, and that different sections of the trail have different problems. He said the problems are likely due to riverbank erosion.

"Probably the largest and most evident problem is a large crack that has emerged right through the centre," said Palmquist.

He added the work involved would not be excessive or expensive. "We're not talking about this trail needing continuous maintenance. It just needs maintenance eventually, and eventually is just about now."

Save Our Seine sent a letter to Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham and several city councillors.

"Asking for them and the City of Winnipeg to take a closer look at this trail and begin the process of doing something about it," said Palmquist.

Last Monday, the public works committee pushed a motion forward asking for a study on the pathway that can help find solutions to the problem.

The public service will report back with recommendations in one year.

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