On the trail – Morrissey Staging Area Update
In 2013 Grand Forks ATV Society (GFATV) partnered with several different groups to create Morrissey staging area. The idea was that recreationists would have a place to park their vehicle and unload/load their off-road recreation vehicle (ORV). The City of Grand Forks entered into a Lease of Occupancy with Grand Forks ATV for a 10-year term. Together they created a well used staging area where you could come and have a picnic at a picnic table and read the informational signage. They even installed an outhouse, so users had that option.
The area was originally developed by the Grand Forks Trap Club and had been used by many families as a location for kids to ride dirt bikes, hiking and mountain biking. Local business owner (B&F Sales & Service) Ryan Tomlin mentioned that 35 years ago as a child he would ride the area, known as moto, every weekend and he took his kids to ride there too.
The new staging area was a place that GFATV held educational events, hot dog cookouts, club meetings, and took Sunshine Valley Clients for rides on the loop trails. Society director Mel Carroll has a very personal attachment to the Sunshine Ride and loves to see the big smiles on the clients faces.
During this government supported job creation project, two other staging areas were also developed. GFATV installed kiosks that presented maps and historic information of the area between Grand Forks and Christina Lake, and included signage, mapping, trail building, and historic bench placements.
GFATV volunteers have maintained the Morrissey staging area over the years and has spent many hours making improvements and adjustment to the trails in the area. There have been some unfortunate changes over the last few years. GFATV had to remove the outhouse and picnic table. These assets had been vandalized to the point they presented a health risk for the volunteers that maintain them.
The most resent developments are the continued removal of garbage and damage of the assets. The City is proposing a development near this area. GFATV has been working towards engaging the City to determine if the staging area is in the planned changes. The situation at this site is so unfortunate, one member had his personal effects stolen and another had their vehicle broken into. Most unfortunate to see such a well used historic relevant area, fall into disrepair. Families have approached GFATV with their concerns.