Manitoba

Protesters call on government to save Winnipeg's Parker Lands from development

Protesters gathered outside the Holiday Inn on Pembina Highway Wednesday where developers were hosting an open house to show the community their plans to transform the Parker Lands into a mixed-use residential area.

Gem Equities plans to build 1700 housing units on 20 acres of Parker Lands

Protesters call on government to save Winnipeg's Parker Lands from development

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

5 years ago
2:04
Protesters gathered outside Holiday Inn on Pembina Highway Wednesday where developers hosted an open house to show the community how they plan to transform the Parker Lands into a mixed-use residential area. 2:04

Protesters gathered outside Holiday Inn on Pembina Highway Wednesday where developers hosted an open house to show the community how they plan to transform the Parker Lands into a mixed-use residential area.

The fight is over 20 acres land off of Waverley Street. It's known as the Parker Lands, a stretch of green space that developers plan to turn into a residential neighbourhood complete with townhouses, a dog park and rapid transit.
Protesters want the federal and provincial governments and the city to step in and turn the Parker Lands into a protected ecological reserve. (CBC)

Eight to 10 per cent of the Parker Lands' forest will be saved in the plan but that does not satisfy conservationist Cal Dueck.

"Green spaces are so important for a city and here we are ... destroying one of the class-A forests in Winnipeg," said Dueck, who co-chairs the Parker Wetlands Conservation Committee.

The group is currently lobbying all three levels of government to set aside the Parker Lands as an ecological reserve.

"If this gets destroyed we can never get it back," said Dueck. Aspen forest, wetlands, and prairie grasses are all present in the Parker Lands, he said.

"We're in 2016 now. We should know that we preserve these green spaces for our children and our grandchildren," he said.
Architect Lawrence Bird spoke at Wednesday's open house. He said Gem Equities' development will preserve some of the Parker Lands' green space. (CBC)

Development architect Lawrence Bird insist that some of the treed areas will be maintained in the new development.

"We are going to be saving some of the green space. We're going to be conserving a park," said development architect Lawrence Bird.

"The city is also going to be building a retention basin which will have a naturalized edge," said Bird, who believes the basin will resemble a wetland.

Twenty acres of Parker Lands is owned by developer, Gem Equities, the remaining 22 acres was expropriated by the city for drainage.

Gem equities has met with Hydro, Winnipeg Transit and stakeholders in the neighbourhood, said project manager Geoff Zywina.

Gem has hired a consultant to do an environmental assessment on the Parker Lands that will include a survey of the species potentially affected by development, said Zywina.

Construction on the Parker Lands is set to begin sometime before 2019.

With files from Erin Brohman.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now