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Letter: The Greenway is good for other activities, too

We saw people sledding, playing in the snow, running, walking their dogs, fat and mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and skate skiing.

Letter to the editor FSA
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I am disappointed in the lack of balance in the reporting about winter activities other than snowmobiling, particularly as it relates to the Greenway. Brad Dokken has written four recent pieces with barely a mention of those who engage in numerous other pastimes. I was out snowshoeing with friends on the Greenway recently and during the time we were out, we saw people sledding, playing in the snow, running, walking their dogs, fat and mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and skate skiing.

During another visit to the Greenway, I talked to an area bird watcher and photographer who had brought people, from quite a distance, onto the Greenway to see the barred and great horned owls. Bird watchers and those who enjoy these other activities also pump money into our local economy.

I am not anti-snowmobile, but I do not believe they, or any other motorized vehicles, belong on the Greenway. My husband grew up in Roseau, Minnesota, and he spent lots of time on his family's Polaris snowmobiles. He and my children enjoyed numerous snowmobile adventures before his death. They chose to ride on the river, when it was safe to do so, or on rural trails, as do many other snowmobilers I have spoken with about this issue.

We have other options for allowing snowmobiles safe passage around town without destroying the Greenway.

I have had a snowmobiler charge directly toward me at high speed on the Greenway and then veer off at the last second, laughing as he did so. Another snowmobiler narrowly avoided hitting me as he came up over the old dike in the Lincoln Golf Course area as I was coming down. Several other people who spoke at City Council also mentioned close encounters and safety concerns. I have also witnessed dozens of occasions where snowmobiles have torn up the multi-use snow-packed trail shortly after it has been groomed, destroying the track that was just laid. Grand Forks Police Department has admitted there is not much they can do to enforce the law, if a snowmobile doesn't choose to stop voluntarily.

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The Greenway is a place where people can enjoy a beautiful and peaceful experience in nature. Providing this space benefits the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of our community. Turning it into a thoroughfare for out-of-town snowmobilers would be a grave injustice to our community.

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