I am disappointed with the lack of balance in reporting winter activities other than snowmobiling, especially greenways. Brad Dokken recently wrote four works, but he rarely mentions people engaged in many other forms of entertainment. I was recently snowshoeing with a friend on the Greenway. During that time, I saw people sledding, playing in the snow, running, dog walking, fat biking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and skating skiing.
During another visit to Greenway, I spoke with area birdwatchers and photographers who have brought people to Greenway from quite a distance to see bird owls and great horned owls. People who enjoy other activities in the area also pour money into the local economy.
I’m not against snowmobiles, but I don’t think snowmobiles or any other motorized vehicle belongs on the Greenway. My husband grew up in Roseau, Minnesota and her family’s Polaris she spent a lot of time on snowmobiles. He and my children enjoyed numerous snowmobile adventures before his passing. They, like many other snowmobiles I have spoken to about this issue, chose to ride rivers or country trails when it was safe to do so.
There are other options for allowing snowmobiles to move safely around town without destroying greenways.
A snowmobile pounced at me at high speed on the greenway and turned around at the last second as he laughed. Another snowmobile narrowly avoided hitting me as it came over an old embankment in the Lincoln Golf Course area as I was about to descend. Several other people who spoke at the city council also mentioned close encounters and safety concerns. The Grand Forks Police Department admits there isn’t much they can do to enforce the law if a snowmobile doesn’t choose to stop voluntarily.
Greenway is a place where people can enjoy a beautiful and peaceful experience in nature. Providing this space benefits the mental, emotional and physical health of our community. Turning it into an out-of-town snowmobile boulevard is a grave injustice to our community.