(Re: “Kent to consider opening Agassiz dikes to recreational users,” Feb. 24, 2021)
To the editor,
I was please to see consideration being given to the opening of the dikes in our area for non-motorized recreation.
I grew up on a farm where the dike cut the farm in half. There was a large hill on the property and gravel was extracted to build the dike from Whelpton Road to the little mountain on Tuyttens Road. When the hill was completely taken down, a borrow pit was dug to gain more gravel to complete the dike to the mountain. Once the dike was completed fences were built on both sides of the dike the entire length.
District vehicles could drive to check on the maintenance especially in the spring before high water.
Over the years all the farms have since changed ownership several times. There are no original families living on these farms anymore and the new owners have taken down all the fences. Metal gates with padlocks in some cases have replaced the wire gates used in the beginning. The wire gates worked well even though cows were out in the fields during the day, only those farms needing to keep their cows fenced in needed gates.
The dike between Ferry Road and Whelpton Road was open for vehicles and was a significant short cut between the two roads. Walking from Whelpton Road to Appel Road was a real short cut when using the dike and all we had to do was put the wire hoop over the post.
I have thought for a long time it would be nice to have the dike open for walking, bike riding and horse riding. What better place to take the family bike riding or walking on a nice sunny day out in the countryside with no worry about cars.
We don’t have many trails in Agassiz and we don’t have access to river trails in this area. Across the river the dikes are open in some places and are very busy on nice sunny days.
I know there is concern about some farmers worried about problems arising but remember, there were fences in the beginning and farmers have removed them. How much damage can someone out walking or riding a bike cause?
Also the dikes are district property as the land on which the dike was build was bought from the original farmers.
-A former farm girl, Barbara Key