Protecting Saskatoon's settler trails
Settler trails are a significant part of Canadian history. Iconic. Horse-drawn wagons carrying people into a new land. Many of those wagons rolled along the Moose Jaw Trail and delivered settlers to Saskatoon. The City has been trying to decide what to do with this historically significant trail for decades—what’s the best way to preserve this bit of heritage while also making it available to the public?
The Moose Jaw Trail was 600 metres of rutted earth through parkland in Stonebridge, a suburban subdivision in south-central Saskatoon. The city, after deliberation, decided on a targeted preservation of the best, most representative segment of the trail. We planned, designed, and managed the project—even suggesting that the developer set aside funds for art features to educate visitors on the trail’s history.
As work and construction commenced, we were in the middle of grading operations when we found something that we weren’t expecting. Bison bones. After a heritage resource impact assessment, carbon dating put the bones at over 5,000 years old! History abounds in this little park. It’s a comfortable blend of recreation and learning opportunities for residents and visitors alike, and it promotes awareness of Saskatoon’s heritage.
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