It was excellent, thanks to Jim August CEO of the Forks Portage Partnership, he gave a nice presentation on how they created the Winnipeg Forks area to make the river more of an attraction year round.
Jim August CEO of Winnipeg Forks Partnership
We had a nice turnout of NDSU Architecture students, park board members and staff, city planners, a couple of Fargo commissioners, developers, Downtown Dave Anderson, and Bob Backman of Riverkeepers there.
I was happy to see so many students there. Lot’s of good questions for Mr. August. I’m going to stay in touch with Mr. August and others that helped in the Winnipeg diversion and Forks Project.
We’ll be organizing a "Northern Tier" city conference derived from this session to share more experiences and ideas with other cities in our region here and in Canada.
After the event we visited about some things we can do right away to increase awareness of opportunities for more activities that feature the river. We have nice bike/walking/running trails thanks to the Park Boards and Metro Trails committees as well as some good riverbank fishing, Kayak, Pontoon, and Bike rental opportunities that we can promote and enhance.
Increasing winter activities is a real opportunity, some we may be able to do already this winter. Did you know early in the Forks development, Winnipeg started attracting thousands of residents simply by identifying, marking, and clearing safe areas on the frozen river (Jan and Feb only dependant on measured safe ice conditions only) for ice skating and parallel snowshoe trails?
Winnipeg and Ottawa have a friendly competion each year to see who has the longest ice skating trail. Winnipeg is the current leader with over 5K long as the record,
Please let me know if you have any ideas and suggestions on any of this and stay tuned!