The trails in Muskoseepi Park in Grande Prairie are safe to use. That’s according to a recent report released by Enforcement Services. Program Manager Kelly Kokesch says he has not seen any safety risks to the public in the park over the last two year.
“There’s no significant events or trends in Muskoseepi Park. I’ve been in the Grande Prairie area for 15 years and there are occurrences in Muskoseepi Park from time to time but certainly, I think most of the community feels safe using that corridor.”
In 2017, Enforcement Services dealt with 86 incident in the park and handled 67 in 2018. Over that same time period, Grande Prairie RCMP responded to 58 calls. Most of the calls were about camps, alcohol and public intoxication and animals off leashes. Kokesch says there have not been any reported assaults on the trails in the last few years.
The idea of trail safety was first brought up by Councillor Dylan Bressey after the results of the city’s citizen budget tool were put together in November. The tool gave people the opportunity to comment on the upcoming budget and make suggestions about the city. Through that tool, Bressey says he heard from a number of people concerned about trail safety.
“When the city asked for feedback on our budget I noticed that a lot of citizens that talked to us about our trails said that they really are jewels of our city but they were not accessing them for perceived safety reasons.”
Bressey says the results of the report are right in line with what he already thought.
“I’m a guy that uses the trails very regularly, often I’m by myself on them after dark and I’ve always felt safe on the trails so my perception was that they were safe. I was excited and gratified today to see that the report we got confirmed that. In the last two years, we don’t have any documented incidences of assault on there.”
In the coming months, Bressey hopes to start talking with the public about how to start changing the way people see the local trails.