Winterpeg, along with Winnipeg Trails, is offering pop-up ski libraries again this winter, giving people a reason to get outside.
"Ski libraries are an idea that came up last year as we went into a winter with pandemic restrictions," says Anders Swanson, the Executive Director of Winnipeg Trails Association. "We put a call out and hundreds of people donated skis, and this year it's back."
It's not just skiing that they offer to the public. They also have snowshoes, wheel blades, and kicksleds.
"A kicksled is really popular in the Nordic countries. We have kicksleds from Quebec, Sweden, and Finland. They're a great thing for a senior citizen who may have limited mobility. It's kind of like a skateboard with a chair, with skis/skates all in one. Basically, you give a kick and then you slide down the sidewalk, and then it's got a chair you can sit on or put a bag of potatoes on."
There are two types of winter activity libraries; one permanent library at the Forks, and a mobile ski library.
"The mobile library, what's special about that, is that we bring it to a park near you," says Swanson. "We also have a special little grooming machine called a snow dog, and we groom a little trail."
The Province of Manitoba along with city counsellors are helping with this initiative to try and grow it, to keep it going long after the pandemic.
"We do rentals by donation at the Forks. Other people donated to us and we just put it back into programming. The mobile ski library is free and the whole idea is to make it accessible and easy."
People can find all the details to either the permanent or mobile ski library or RSVP by checking out the Winterpeg website.
"Skiing is one of those things that make you smile for the rest of the winter. If you call this place home, when you get outside it reminds you why you chose to stay or your parents chose to stay. I think the number one reason to get outside is that sense of adventure, belonging, and connection to nature."