20 Years of Accomplishments
The advocacy for rehabilitating, enhancing and protecting natural habitat marked Save Our Seine’s first 20 years of its unwavering dedication to the Seine River. The following summary not only demonstrates but most importantly acknowledges the dedication of Save Our Seine’s volunteers towards the Seine River.
Floodway Siphon Improvements | 1992-2010
The original inlet in reverse view
The flow within this pipe would ultimately travel to an outlet structure in order to merge with the original flow of the river. In the 1990s, the siphon became structurally unstable and thus, became detrimental to the fauna that lived in the River.
Save Our Seine lobbied ardently for its re-stabilization. After a number of failed re-stabilization attempts and through the insistence from Save Our Seine, the Manitoba Floodway Authority addressed the problem by undertaking a major restructuring of the siphon inlet structure in 2009.
The Red River Floodway Siphon was constructed in the 1970s and it diverted the Seine River’s natural path to flow into an inlet structure. That is, some of the river's water was diverted to the floodway channel while the remaining water flowed through an underground pipe located underneath the floodway.
The upgraded inlet structure
IKO Site Cleanup | 1992-2010
Save Our Seine worked for a long time in advocating for the rehabilitation of the area known as IKO Site. The portion of the river near the site smelled of petroleum, and when holes where dug to plant new trees, shingles were found. SOS lobbied the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg to study the area and open dialogue with the owner of a former shingle manufacturing site located in St. Boniface.
Overall view of the remediation works carried out.
After 15 years of studies and discussions, the owner of the site undertook a remedial project that not only diverted the river but also removed 148,000 tonnes of contaminated soil. Finally, in September of 2010, the site started its re-vegetation rehabilitation process through the planting of 100 trees which were planted by Save Our Seine's volunteers.
Additional information on this project can be found here.
Seine River Greenway Study | 1997-2000
The Seine River Greenway Study (from Bishop Grandin to Perimeter Highway) was initiated in 1997 and it involved a number of stakeholders, including Save Our Seine. Three former Save Our Seine presidents (J. P. Brunet, Harold Twaites and Bob Tinker) were appointed as advisors on the Seine River.
The finalized Study which contained the Bois-des-Esprits forest recommended the preservation of high quality habitat and riverbank vegetation together with the proposal of establishing a trail network on the east side which also envisaged a canoe launch area with five (5) riffles (manmade rapids).
Additionally, with the coordination of Dave Danyluk, Save Our Seine published a wonderful and detailed hand-drawn images that represent the River, its nature (trees and the animals that live in its habitat) together with the historical features situated along its perimeter. The Seine River Greenway Map can be viewed here.
Southglen Bridge | 2000-2002
Ladco Company Limited and the Province were planning to develop new Royalwood subdivisions which were envisaged to be carried out into two stages. Phase 2 of the envisaged project constituted the construction of additional crossing over the Seine, at Southglen and Warde. Save Our Seine did not agree with the proposed Southglen crossing since it would fragment the Bois des Esprits forest. Additionally, it would destroy Class A vegetation and additional unwanted disturbance on the natural habitat.
Save Our Seine campaigned against its construction and went as far as standing in front of bulldozers (the courageous Jules Legal and Jim Gyselinck) to protect and stop the clearing of the oak trees in the vicinity of the proposed bridge.
The Southglen Bridge was ultimately given green light on December 17 of 2002. Nonetheless, this showcases the strong dedication on the part of Save Our Seine in its mandate and vision on protecting the nature and all of its components.
Bois-des-Esprits Saved | 2002-2006
Save Our Seine around mid of 2002 began an intensive campaign to fund the acquisition of 80 acres of Bois-des-Esprits (from John Bruce Road to Southglen Bridge) for Parkland preservation. And, this in order to protect it from urban development. Save Our Seine again lobbied with the City of Winnipeg and this led the City to commit $1.6 million to the cause.
While Save Our Seine from private fund raising events was able to secure $110,000. The remaining needed matching funds of about half a million dollars were secured through the Province, partially from Grandin Park Development and Ladco Company Limited.
Therefore, by 2003, SOS was able to protect 66 acres. Than, two (2) years later, in 2005, the City Council with the help of the Province's contribution of $930,000, the entire 82 acres of the forest were saved from destruction.
The Study Area (page 8 of the Management Plan)
Bois-des-Esprits Management Plan | 2006-2008
Following the acquisition of the 82 acres, Save Our Seine immediately began to work on the development of a Management Plan for the Bois-des-Esprits.
Its president Tammy Rutherford with the corporation of the City of Winnipeg, the Province, Ladco Company Limited, and SLMcleod Consulting, HTFC Planning & Design prepared a study which focused on the determining the quality of land, the identification of sites suitable for trails, cataloging the forest’s diverse biodiversity and also the classification of its ecosystems.
The Management Plan was completed and published in June of 2008 (available here).