It will soon be easier to walk around Yorkton, thanks to the Yorkton Business Improvement District (YBID). At a meet and greet on Nov. 21, the organization announced a plan to pay for walking paths along Dracup Ave., donating $100,000 initially and committing to $50,000 a year, to a maximum of $500,000.
The money will be used for trails, lighting and a bridge on the Dracup project, to expand the walking trail system in the city.
Mayor Bob Maloney said that the walking trail system in the city that exists right now has been a hit, so they’re glad that they will be able to expand it and reach more areas of the city.
“That system has proved very popular. Especially younger people seem to love it. They get on their bikes, skateboarding or rollerblading.”
The trails will connect to the city’s existing trails in the Heritage Heights area and up to downtown. Maloney said that the end goal is to have trails connect through the entire city.
“We’re getting really good feedback on it, people everywhere seem to like it. I met a gentleman who pushed his mother in a wheelchair all the way from Winchester, where the seniors’ centre is down to the park to watch the kids skateboarding, because she really seemed to enjoy that. They would go over to Dairy Queen for a cup of coffee and go back again. They were very appreciative of the trail because it’s all wheelchair friendly and it goes all the way from Winchester to the downtown.”
The project is also a continuation of the city’s long-running relationship with YBID.
“YBID has a history of working with the city on projects, some of which they have identified, some of which we have identified. They’ve been terrific partners for us,” said Maloney.
YBID Chair Megan Richards said they are supporting the project because it’s the kind of initiative that helps residents enjoy the city.
“We see it as a great opportunity for the city of Yorkton to beautify itself and make itself more accessible for walking.”
As a downtown business district, they also recognize that adding walking trails will allow better access to the city’s downtown to residents from the northern end of the city.
It is expected that construction on the project will begin this spring.