A Portage la Prairie cycling group is aiming to leave a legacy in the community.
With already 12 kilometres of trails, the Junk Yard Dogs will be expanding by constructing a bike park for all skill levels at the old dump hill and a wheelchair-accessible nature trail to the south of the dump.
Club president Blair Geisel says that some of that project is expected to be done this year, but there will probably be features not finished until 2023.
Geisel says this will be important for our market's tourism sector.
"I mean, currently, many people from Winnipeg come out to walk and cycle our trail system, and this is just going to add to it. We're going to see many more people from Portage, and outside the region coming to Portage the Prairie uses trail system."
Fundraising committee member Chris Kitchen says this is a $1,000,000 project which his group is extremely excited about.
He outlines the plan for getting the park up and running.
"So, the repairing of the Toboggan Hill, the adding of the skills parks the trails system that's going to be accessible for people in wheelchairs and things like that. That's all kind of our plan to have done by the end of this year, and then everything willing will be set up and put up bathrooms and picnic shelters in phase two, which would be next year around the 2023 summer."
Geisel adds that the group relies on the community to help fund this project.
"We have had a good start. The Yuill family, Kevin and Iris, have committed $100,000 to the project, and that's huge. And these are matching funds. So, for every dollar that someone contributes from the community. The Yuills will put in a dollar to a maximum of $100,000. That has given us some early funds to do all the work to prepare so that we can begin construction in August. Also, the people who own Real Foods in Portage la Prairie have committed to repairing all the damage done to the toboggan run, which is another huge contribution. So, the community is already stepping up and helping us out. Hopefully, we can reach our target by the end of this year."
According to the group, if you decide to donate, you will be entitled to a tax rebate. Something they have worked on with the city on.
Geisel notes that if you want to learn more about his group, there are brochures at their trailheads and details on becoming a member on their website.
"There's a membership page there, and memberships are $40 for individuals and $60 for families. so they're very affordable."
Although this idea has been schemed and built through the minds of the Junk Yard Dogs, once the dream comes to fruition, the city will be tasked with maintaining the park.