Snow was removed from a neighbourhood park path near École Barrie Wilson Elementary School to the delight of parents. (Photo by Sharon Forseth)

Path near school cleared after concerns raised

Red Deer Public Schools puts a bobcat on the job

Students and parents have a clearer path to École Barrie Wilson Elementary School after a Red Deer grandmother raised concerns.

On Wednesday Sharon Forseth talked to the Advocate about a city park path located west of the school near its parking lot that does not get cleaned of ice and snow in the winter. It runs north all the way to Timberlands Drive where many parents park to pick up and drop off their children.

By Thursday afternoon a maintenance worker from Red Deer Public Schools cleared the path with a bobcat.

“It was beautiful. I did my happy dance,” Forseth said with a laugh who walked the path Friday morning.

She said there was only a skiff of snow on the path as snow started to fall.

“It’s going to look nice for at least another few hours anyway,” said Forseth who was sorry she couldn’t have been there to thank the maintenance worker.

She previously said the one student fell and broke his tooth when the path was covered in ice earlier in the winter. Parents had complained to the school, but the path with in a neighbourhood city park and wasn’t under the control of the school.

Superintendent Stu Henry said when the school district became aware of the problem through the Advocate arrangements were made for its maintenance staff to clean the path.

“It’s tricky though because it’s not our path to maintain so we really shouldn’t have done it. We just thought kids are getting hurt,” Henry said.

“It’s not the kind of thing we’ll be doing on a regular basis. But when we heard that it was a problem we just wanted to help out.”

According to the city’s Legislative Services, no neighbourhood trails are maintained in the winter, including the park trail at Timberlands Central Park beside Barrie Wilson School. Any changes to snow clearing would require funding, and, in some cases, updating city policy.

Forseth was informed that her request to clear the path would be considered in conjunction with an annual review of the city’s snow and ice control practices.

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