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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Birds Hill Provincial Park Plaque (Birds Hill Provincial Park, RM of Springfield)

A monument in the Rural Municipality of Springfield near the east beach in Birds Hill Provincial Park commemorates the official opening of the park during the 1967 Canadian centennial year. Named for Bird family, including James Curtis Bird and Curtis James Bird, the park was first conceived as a tourist destination by the City of Winnipeg. In 1964, the provincial government embraced the concept and, following expropriation of around 155 property owners, work began at the site. Following three years of landscaping and development at a cost of some $4 million, a grand opening on 15 July 1967 was attended by Premier Duff Roblin and Tourism & Recreation Minister Sterling R. Lyon. A ceremonial ribbon was cut by a homesteader’s broadaxe that was subsequently secured to the monument’s side. The monument and axe were eventually located at a fork in a pathway near an artificial lake in the park. They were removed for restoration in 2017.

Premier Duff Roblin wields an axe to cut a ceremonial ribbon at the opening ceremony for Birds Hill Provincial Park

Premier Duff Roblin wields an axe to cut a ceremonial ribbon at the opening ceremony for Birds Hill Provincial Park (July 1967)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Government photographs (CH 0267), GR 3553, Bird's Hill Park, Opening Ceremonies, 1967, 67-1747.

Birds Hill Provincial Park commemorative plaque

Birds Hill Provincial Park commemorative plaque (July 2016)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Birds Hill Provincial Park commemorative plaque with the axe used in the opening ceremonies

Birds Hill Provincial Park commemorative plaque with the axe used in the opening ceremonies (July 2016)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Site Location (lat/long): N50.01378, W96.87563
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: James Curtis Bird (c1773-1856)

Memorable Manitobans: Curtis James Bird (1838-1876)

Sources:

“Birds Hill Provincial Park opens next Saturday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 July 1967, page 12.

“Birds Hill: new feather for Manitoba’s spa cap,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 July 1967, page 9.

Birds Hill Provincial Park, Parks and Protected Spaces Branch.

We thank the staff of Birds Hill Provincial Park for their help in locating this plaque.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 9 October 2017

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.


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