A worker with Arbor Care prunes damaged branches from a poplar tree along the bike path at the CP Rail pedestrian Bridge in Red Deer on Thursday. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

City asphalt trails are mostly clear

Red Deer cleanup continues

All asphalt trails leading into Bower Ponds are open for people looking to have fun at the Canada Day celebration on Saturday.

City trails were closed after the June 20 straight-line wind storm that roared through Red Deer.

Dave Matthews, the city’s parks planning and technical services supervisor, said some reassessment will be done because of high winds this week, but those asphalt trails will be open.

“It will be hazard-free and debris-free,” Matthews said on Thursday.

He said Bower Ponds didn’t sustain as much damage as other areas.

“There wasn’t a lot of tree damage. Just a lot of debris. It was really the trails leading into the Bower Ponds area that we had to deal with as far as not only debris and downed trees by aerial hangers and things like that.”

He said crews have been focusing on clearing fallen trees and debris in residential areas, but there are also teams in some park areas. The city substantially geared up with specialized equipment with outside help on Wednesday and it’s estimated that within a week most secondary asphalt trails will be clear.

“Now that we’ve ramped up we’re going to be moving forward much more quickly.”

About 85 per cent of asphalt trails in the city are now open. A lot of the gravel trails are still being assessed, he said.

He said last week there were about 300 calls to report tree damage and debris and more this week. Now people are starting to call again.

“We have recorded their issues and we are getting to them on a priority basis. We just appreciate people’s patience.”

Matthews wanted to thank the public who volunteered their time to rake up and pile debris in low risk areas for city workers to haul away.

“A lot of people came and assisted in helping us clean up not only on their own property but in parks. That was a great help.”

Canada Day at Bower Ponds, hosted by Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society, runs from 11 a.m. through to a Canada 150-enhanced fireworks display at 11 p.m.

International foods, entertainment, and special children’s programming featuring singing, dancing, storytelling, arts and crafts and puppets are all part of the fun.

Information can be found at www.rdchs.com.

There will be no parking at Bower Ponds, Great Chief Park or surrounding area. People are asked to take advantage of the Park & Ride program at Sorensen Station downtown, at 4830 48th St. Parking is free at the Sorensen Station parkade, nearby city lots and on the street. Parkade opens at 10 a.m. and closes shortly after midnight.

Buses will leave Sorensen Station to Bower Ponds starting at 10:45 a.m. and every 15 minutes thereafter. Buses will go to and from Bower Ponds every 15 minutes until after the fireworks.

People can use their bus pass, MyRide card or transfer. Otherwise, it’s cash only. One way tickets are $1 for adults, 50 cents for seniors and kids age five and under are free.

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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