By Al Beeber on April 15, 2021.
New signage which should end confusion about allowed users at the Elizabeth Hall Wetlands will soon be installed by the City of Lethbridge at the popular nature reserve.
Bicycles and walkers with dogs are allowed to transit through the park on the red shale trail that runs along the Par 3 golf course from the parking lot, said parks manager Dave Ellis Wednesday.
Those users, however, are not allowed to use any other pathway or area of the wetlands which is home to a range of bird species and animals including western painted turtles, muskrats and beavers.
While long popular with residents, Ellis said it became more more so after last year’s fire which burned a portion of the area including the bird blind.
That blind is going to be rebuilt in some fashion with benches and some type of screen, said Ellis.
The new signage should eliminate confusion among users about who can access the wetlands.
With the reserve along a westside pathway that can take walkers and bicyclists to the far south end of West Lethbridge, access needs to be given to all users, said Ellis.
But bicyclists and dog walkers are specifically limited in the wetlands to the shale trail to access the pathway that goes south of the High Level Bridge and up the stairs towards the top shelf of the coulees where paths continue south toward the University of Lethbridge and eventually to Paradise Canyon.
A pathway also continues through the river valley to the Whoop-Up Drive bridge.
“They can go along the golf course, through the wetlands and under the bridge. . .we have to let people go through that,” said Ellis.
“The confusion is where you come out of the parking lot” which has several trails going in different directions, he said.
“We allow dogs and bikes in transit; they’re not allowed in the rest of the park on the pathways. The complicated part is there are several paths off the parking lot,” added Ellis.
In addition to the new signage, the city is going to rebuild the pathway atop the berm that surrounds the wetlands later this summer.
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