Letters from our readers

Winnipeg supports arboretum at The Forks

I think the idea of an arboretum at The Forks is a great idea.  Hopefully I am just one of many in Winnipeg who feel this way.
  I have enjoyed wandering through arboretums no matter what the size – from small town university efforts  to the huge University of Minnesota effort on the outskirts of Minneapolis. We must attempt to keep a lot more of the available space in the area for greenery that can be enjoyed by everyone, before it is gobbled up just for the sake of a slightly larger tax base. As we all know, once it is gone we will never have another opportunity. Besides I can almost bet on tourism also growing because of project s such as these.
I don’t know whether I can aid in the process or not. However,  I am retired and, depending on the time (month, day, hour) would like to help out a bit in making this come to fruition.
Angus MacIver, Winnipeg

Add an avenue of peace heroes

I read with great interest your article on the land at The Forks. When CBC ran a series in June on the water park, I phoned and expressed an opinion very similar to yours. My entire suggestion was aired.
I had suggested a meditative park, with garden paths, and walkways and public art. I also suggested water pools with geothermal heating, which would suggest an all seasons park.
Mahatma Gandhi is all by himself beside the skate park, which in my opinion, takes away from what Mahatma was trying to achieve; a world of non-violence in trying to resolve conflict.  Our great Manitoba artists could be called upon for public art beautifying this precious piece of land. It also would be wonderful to have an avenue of peace heroes, such as Nelson Mandela,  Martin Luther King Jr., Desmond Tutu, Romeo Dallaire, to name a few. It might be wonderful to have nooks for music, as is done at Leo Mol.
We have very capable landscape gardeners, and landscape architects who are environmentally conscious, who could very wonderfully draft plans and designs ensuring the Canadian Museum for Human Rights has a beautiful  park.
I feel  this Museum is squashed into a space that does not match the immensity of this edifice. This park would add the expanse that is needed to add beauty and thought, and world contemplation. Winnipeg can do this.
Wilma Sotas, Winnipeg

A place to reflect and enjoy nature

I just read your online article about an arboretum at The Forks beside the Human Rights Museum!  What a fabulous idea, especially as it would combine so many benefits –  a green space in a tarmac-covered area, a reflection space for people who have visited the museum, as well as providing an education about native species of plants and insects (I am running with your idea a bit.).
I would love to volunteer some time on pushing this project.  It would be fabulous to have something like this downtown.  Assiniboine Park offers amazing experiences but it would be great to have a smaller version within reach of the inner city folks who may not travel to that park.
I moved to Winnipeg 15 months ago and have just bought my first house. I am in the process of installing a garden that combines food production with pockets of native species to attract and preserve local bugs and birds. I am excited about pushing native species and the creation of urban native habitats to the front of the news.
Thank you for sharing this amazing idea.
Janet Anderson, Winnipeg

Let’s hear more!

I read the article in Lifestyles 55 about The Forks arboretum. Would love to hear more about  the plans and involvement!
Tamara Peabody, Winnipeg

Would welcome a call

I read your article on arboretums and the plans to incorporate one at the Forks.  As someone who is passionate about trees, I was thrilled that you put out an invitation to those interesting in getting involved.
M.J. Mackie

Missing the Park Conservatory

Thank you for your write-up, “Missing the people element at Assiniboine Park Conservatory” in the June issue of of Lifestyles 55. It is sad to see and feel the emptiness of the place. Yes the Conservatory restaurant was my oasis, my place to sip a cup of steaming coffee, enjoy a slice of mouth-watering cakes and to have a wonderful chat with  owner Shirley Vlassie.
I have been missing the place. Everything has changed at the conservatory since a new group took over.
Lately as a chairperson for the tree planting ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba, I tried to arrange for a tree-planting event. (We had planted a tree in Assiniboine Park in 1993 to celebrate Philippine Independence.) First, I called Chris Lepa and he said that it would be okay and then, later on, he said that we cannot plant a tree, because Assiniboine Park is now managed by a committee and we cannot plant a tree without the approval of the new committee.
Our plan was to pay $600 for a tree, and when I did not get the response from the committee Chris and I decided to plant the tree in Kildonan Park.
I have been at the new Assiniboine Café. Unfortunately the ambiance is not the same as in the Conservatory eating place, and for seniors it is a hard walk. The food is not that good. I wish the Conservatory restaurant would open for seniors and others who had found it so comfortable to in after a morning walk.
Rod Cantiveros, Winnipeg.

Park and Forks articles draw praise

I really enjoyed the articles on the Conservatory and the proposed arboretum in the June Lifestyles issue. Bravo!
Richard Denesiuk, Winnipeg

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