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Local Couple Builds “Friendship Trail” in St. Adolphe

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Bird Sanctuary Crop
The "Friendship Trail" in St. Adolphe. Ritchot Senior Services

The pandemic has taken away a lot of our entertainment opportunities, but a couple from St. Adolphe took advantage of some unseasonably warm weather in November and put in the hard work to give the locals a new place to play.

Many may not be aware, but there is a bird sanctuary just north of the Pierre Delorme bridge, just off the Trans Canada Trail. According to ebird.org, it is among the top ten places in Manitoba to watch birds. At least 244 species have been spotted within the sanctuary.

The sanctuary is what inspired Henriette and Richard Collette of St. Adolphe to get out of the house and keep busy. Throughout the pandemic, the Collettes have been picking up trash along the river and throughout the sanctuary.

“We thought it looked so good once clean… so why not make a trail along the river?” says Richard.

Every day, they have been outside working on what they now call Friendship Trail. They say there are already various small structures and painted birdhouses constructed by kids and their parents throughout the trail.

“We also put up a Christmas tree, and with the saw sliced round pieces of wood with a hole and a ribbon through it and invited kids to take them home and paint them and put them back on the tree,” Richard adds.

There is also a fire pit along the trail where walkers can warm up a little or even cook hot dogs or s’mores. Mr. Collette points out that so far people have been very good at wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

After a little snack, the kids can head to the dike. The steep hill is a perfect place to toboggan—and as more snow falls, there are sure to be plenty of bundled up kids and adults alike enjoying the thrill of a ride.

Richard Collette says that unfortunately much of the hard work he and his wife have put into the trail will be lost in the spring thaw, but he is pleased that their effort has been benefitting the townspeople in this difficult time.

“We are bringing lots of smiles to people’s faces and that’s our reward.”

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