Building new experiences
Batoche unveils viewing platform, family garden
While the Batoche National Historic Site has closed for the year, a new project recently completed should offer some new experiences for viewers in 2018.
Last weekend, Parks Canada unveiled a new viewing platform and family garden. The project, according to documents from Parks Canada, “Will provide for increased Métis cultural interpretation and family gathering opportunities, in celebration of the local Métis culture.”
The project was a part of $1.4 million in infrastructure investment funding, part of the Batoche Shared Management Visitor Experience Renewal. The funding was aimed to create new infrastructure to improve the visitor experience in the East Village area of the site. The funding was announced in May 2016.
The Batoche National Historic Site displays the remains of the village of Batoche, the site of the last major battle in the Northwest Resistance of 1885.
According to a news release, the platform and garden “will offer visitors new opportunities to experience the East Village and will contribute to telling the larger Métis story.”
The project was put together in partnership with the local Métis community “to tell more about the story of the Métis people at Batoche in a meaningful and significant way,” the press release said.
“It’s all in the interest of developing new and innovative ways to allow people to connect with the historic landscape,” said acting manager Scott Whiting.
“The idea is to offer an architecturally unique experience and give people a new way to interact with the historic landscape, the east village, the Carlton Trail and the river lot system,” he said.
“The family garden is an interactive play area based on Métis themes. It’s designed to have rustic elements and fit in to the historic landscape.”
The new features are designed to let people explore on their own, though they will be features as a part of certain site tours.
The new park features are some of the ongoing investments on the site to improve the visitor experience.
“One of (those investments) is a new interpretive trail project along the footpath that overlooks the river,” Whiting said
“It’s in the development phase right now.”
As with the viewing platform and family garden, the new projects are being developed in partnership with the Métis community.
“The goal really is to add opportunities for visitors to enjoy and interact with the site, but to interact with the heritage as well, including some of the human heritage and the human use of the landscape over time,” Whiting said.
“We’re excited to continue to reinvest here and to give people new reasons to visit and new was to experience and enjoy the site. We’re certainly looking forward to 2018.”
Jacqueline Gaudet and Norman Fleury unveil the new viewing platform.
(Left photo) Adiana Bacheschi speaks at the opening of the east site viewing platform as Scott Whiting and Norman Fleury look on.
(Right photo) The new observation tower recently opened at Batoche National Historic Site is pictured. The viewing platform and a family garden are two recent additions to the site, with new interpretive trails being developed as the next stage in $1.4 million in park improvements.