WINNIPEG — A $35 million revitalization campaign at FortWhyte Alive has received a generous donation-matching boost.
Winnipeg philanthropist Bob Williams announced the gift challenge on Tuesday, promising to match all donations towards the campaign, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million.
“We are so lucky to have this 660 acres of nature within Winnipeg,” Williams said. “Every year, thousands of kids get their nature experience right here, and that’s the true value of this place. With the new development, FortWhyte will be better than ever and more people will be able to bathe in nature.”
The Your True Nature campaign will fund the development of the new 18,000-square-foot Buffalo Crossing building, which will be accessible via McGillivray Boulevard.
It will also increase necessary accessibility to expansive greenspace for central residents through developments to allow for future expansion of Winnipeg Transit routes to FortWhyte Alive.
Wetlands and pathways will be revitalized, creating a self-directed biodiversity trail, improved drainage and water movement, and additional areas for nature-based learning and outdoor recreation.
Major roadways will be restored and lake shorelines stabilized throughout the property.
Two major projects of the campaign have already been completed — a green energy retrofit of the Richardson Interpretive Centre and the development of the new Ben and Rose Puchniak Woodworking Studio at FortWhyte Farms.
The key point of the campaign will be the construction of Buffalo Crossing, where visitors to FortWhyte will be welcomed year-round into a hub for environmental education and outdoor recreation. A pedestrian walkway will connect the building across Muir Lake.
“This revitalization of well-loved existing assets, and the new development of Buffalo Crossing will ensure that FortWhyte is strategically equipped to address the future needs of our community,” said Liz Wilson, FortWhyte Alive president and CEO.
“Buffalo Crossing will allow us to be more accessible, more inclusive, and reach more people, preparing the next generation to meet environmental and climate challenges ahead.”