What used to be an abandoned CN railway bed is now a rare and exciting Manitoba attraction. This year biologists identified a huge variety of native prairie plants growing near the Headingley Grand Trunk Trail (HGTT), and confirmed the area is intact Remnant Tall Grass Prairie. Just west of the perimeter in the RM of Headingley, the HGTT extends ten kilometers to Beaudry Park. About two-thirds of the way through the trail (at the end of Rodney St. and Alboro St.) is where you will find more than 40 acres of prairie that has never been farmed or developed. About 10 of those acres are high quality Remnant Tall Grass Prairie.
Unfortunately this prairie hasn't yet gained official protection status. The site was used from 1894 to 1972 for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, but is now owned by the RM of Headingley. The Headingley Grand Trunk Trail Association made a pitch to the RM of Headingley to preserve this rare Manitoba landscape, but it's uncertain whether or not protection status will be granted. The HGTT Association says they're very optimistic, but they are hoping for support from the public to help sway the RM's decision. Currently the Association is gathering more information about the area from experts, but in the meantime they say that anyone who would like to see this area become a tall grass prairie preserve can send an email of support to the RM of Headingley's Deputy Mayor, John Mauseth.
Of course the tall grass prairie isn't the only thing the Headingly Grand Trunk Trail Association is working on. Below is a virtual tour of the trail along with some of the other great work going on at the HGTT. For more information about the Headingley Grand Trunk Trail follow their facebook page.