Following lobbying efforts by advocate groups, including HTFC, the Manitoba Floodway Authority (MFA) acknowledged the need to think beyond the Red River Floodway’s use as a limited access stormwater utility. In 2008, as part of the the expansion of this 2400 hectare landscape, the MFA hired HTFC to develop a plan that outlines realistic, community-supported recreational and economic opportunities within the floodway property. The centrepiece of the plan is a visionary vegetation management strategy integral to the operation of the floodway and the burgeoning communities flanking the channel. In addition to calling for one of the largest tall grass prairie restoration projects in North America, the 100-year strategy weaves in food production, agro-forestry, alternative forage and grazing practices, carbon sequestration, habitat restoration, recreation, interpretation, and economic development. This plan is a living complement to the Floodway’s bold engineering, showcasing at an unprecedented scale how natural processes can be harnessed to solve a multitude of problems and add value over time.
The project received a National Honour award from CSLA in 2011.