Winnipeg mulls buying forest to create park
Sumka Road forest is south of perimeter along the Seine River
The City of Winnipeg is a step closer to buying a forest located on farm property for sale south of the perimeter and turning the green space into a park.
The planning and development standing policy committee voted on Monday to ask the public service to write a report on purchasing the forest off Sumka Road.
The document would include details like how much of the 62-acre lot is covered by a roughly 20-acre forest and whether the city should try to buy the whole farm or just the forested area.
"I think it is a chance for a legacy project," said Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) after Monday's meeting. "If we save the forest, that opens up the possibility we can do something in 10 or 20 years."
The forest is part of a former farm and vegetable market across the Seine River from Vermette Park.
It's possible Winnipeg might one day be able to build a pedestrian bridge across the Seine and link the two parks, Mayes says.
The non-profit group, Save Our Seine, told the committee Monday the forest also connects with other natural areas along the Seine.
"The importance of preserving and saving this forest cannot be overemphasized," said Save Our Seine president Denis Gautron. "We believe it will be a valuable addition to the Seine River green way."
The Sumka forest resembles those in St. Vital Park, the Assiniboine Forest and Kildonan Park, Gautron says.
The public service is expected to report back in September with details on the possibility of purchasing the forest.