The sun is finally shining - it’s time to head out for a walk with the kids and burn off some of that excess winter energy. There are over 100 different natural areasto explore in Calgary ranging from vast grasslands on Nose Hill to mountain-like surroundings along the Douglas Fir Trail, so there’s lots of choice for everyone.
The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a great place to start. This 32-hectare wildlife reserve offers more than two kilometres of level walking trails throughout theriverine forest, by the flowing river and alongside a peaceful lagoon. More than 250 species of birds and 300 species of plants, plus several kinds of mammals,have been observed in the area.
While spring and summer are prime times for viewing birds, a variety of wildlife can be seen throughout the year. The public is welcome to visit the Sanctuaryduring daylight hours, year-round but please leave your pets, bicycles, roller blades and bird food at home. Admission is free; however, the Sanctuary gratefullyaccepts donations.
According to Roland Kirzinger, a natural history programmer with the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, “Hiking gives us a chance to bond as a family, have fun anddiscover nature.” He adds, “When you're out for your walk, try looking for animal and bird tracks, and try to identify each species. Keep an eye aloft as well and
look for nests. Watch for birds and animals moving about; you're bound to see squirrels scavenging for food or just romping around as they celebrate spring. Have geese started to return to your area yet? Keep an eye and an ear out for them.”
Hiking Tips from the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary:
*Choose a trail and pace appropriate for the ages and abilities of the hikers.
*Ensure everyone has proper shoes or boots, a hat, sunscreen and a backpack, (for extra clothing, water bottles and snacks).
*Watch for new young plants. Make sure you don't step on them or hurt them in any way.
*Never break off branches and twigs of trees or bushes, these are very important for new growth.
*Don't pick wild flowers.
*During walks, remember to pick up your litter, then dispose of it properly. Not only is garbage unsightly, litter can also sometimes badly injure wild animals and
*Watch for nestlings and baby animals, but never touch them. Sometimes, their mothers will not take them back if they smell human scent.
*Dens and nests are the homes of wild creatures. Take care that you don't damage them.
Remember, "It's the journey, not the destination that is important."
Where to Go
1. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary - an oasis consisting of riverine andgrasslands. Bird and plant life are numerous as you stroll along thetrails, with several observation decks for wildlife viewing andrelaxation.
2. Nose Hill Park Natural Area - a vast grassland. It offers a breathtaking view of the city. Numerous prairie plants and animals can be seenmaking this area an ideal place for nature study.
3. Edworthy Park: Douglas Fir Trail - a magnificent illustration ofmountain-like habitat because of a dense stand of 400-year-old DouglasFir trees. It is not unusual to see deer, coyotes, woodpeckers, and abeautiful array of wildflowers.
4. Lowery Gardens - a wonderful natural area full of Balsam and AspenPoplar, not to mention a multitude of rose bushes.
5. Weaslehead Natural Area - provides a scenic view of the Elbow Rivervalley and its delta. Named after an Indian Chief who resided in thevalley, Weaslehead contains numerous different plants and animals athome.
6. Carburn and Beaver Dam Flats - semi-natural areas feature lakes, riverpathways and picnic facilities. Allow at least a half hour one-waytravel time between the parks.
7. Baker Park – located right across the river from Bowness Park, Baker Park was once the sit of a convalescence hospital for First World War soldiers. Bathed in light and dotted with dozens of varieties of planted trees, the park radiates from a river-side plaza along the Bow River pathway. An ideal alternative to those summer days when Bowness Park is filled to bursting.
Some Suggestions for Summer Walks:
Upcoming Events at Inglewood: Parks Week
July 15 to 21, 2007
|10 - 11 a.m.||Guided Walk at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Introducing you to the wonder of birds and other wild things living in the city. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, 2425 9 Ave. S.E. Free. *Registration required. Code #196184.|
|2 - 3:30 p.m.||Union Cemetery Tour. Travel back in time to discover the heroes, villains, and other colourful characters buried in Calgary. Meet at the entrance gate to Union Cemetery off Spiller Rd. S.E. Free. No registration required.|
|10 a.m. - 12 p.m.||Stay 'n' Play. Fun for ages 3-5 with games, crafts and other activities run by Community and Neighbourhood Services at Arbour Lake, Bowness, Chinook Park/Kelvin Grove/Eagle Ridge, Forest Lawn, Lakeview, Parkland. Free. No registration required. Call 3-1-1 for more info in on Stay'n'Play.|
|10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.||Park 'n' Play. Fun for ages 6-12 with games, crafts and other activities run by Community and Neighbourhood Services at Arbour Lake, Bowness, Chinook Park/Kelvin Grove/Eagle Ridge, Forest Lawn, Lakeview, Parkland. Free. No registration required. Call 3-1-1 for more info on Park'n'Play.|
|12:15 - 1:45 p.m.||Devonian Gardens Tour. Celebrate Devonian Gardens' 30th year of Calgary's finest indoor garden. Meet at the Information Kiosk of Devonian Gardens, 4th Level of the TD Square, 317 - 7 Ave. S.W. Free. No registration required.|
|7 - 8:15 p.m.||Calgary's Natural Parks. Jim Foley of the Calgary Field Naturalists' Society and author of Calgary's Natural Parks, Yours to Explore gives a visual presentation of our remarkable and extensive network of Natural Environment Parks. The Outdoor Resource Centre, 1111 Memorial Dr. N.W. Free. Phone 221-3942 to register.|
|11 a.m. - 2 p.m.||The City of Calgary Parks Interactive Display. Browse information and meet Parks experts from our different programs, including Healthy Yards, Education, Natural Areas, Planning, Urban Forestry, Water Management, Pathways, Volunteers and Parks Pursuits. Free draw prizes and give-aways! Olympic Plaza, 228 8 Ave. S.E. Free. No registration required.|
|11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.||Reader Rock Garden Tour. Named after Calgary's fourth Superintendent of Parks from 1913 to 1942, this internationally acclaimed garden is a Provincial Historic Site and a tribute to William Reader's passion for plants and beauty. Adult $5.30/Child $3. *Registration required. Code #196834. Note: Each tour has a different code.|
|Wednesday July 18|
|12:15 - 1:45 p.m.||Devonian Gardens Tour. Celebrate Devonian Gardens' 30th year of Calgary's finest indoor garden. Meet at the Information Kiosk of Devonian Gardens, 4th Level of the TD Square, 317 7 Ave. S.W. Free. No registration required.|
|1 - 2:30 p.m.||Nature Walk at Bowmont Park. Stretching 4 km along the north bank of the Bow River, this awesome Natural Environment Park and Nature Appreciation area is a major habitat for wildlife. Bowmont Park main entrance at Silver Springs Blvd., south of Silver Springs Gate N.W. Adult $5.30/Child $3. *Registration required. Code #180188.|
|12:15 - 1:45 p.m.||Devonian Gardens Tour. Celebrate Devonian Gardens' 30th year of Calgary's finest indoor garden. Meet at the Information Kiosk of Devonian Gardens, 4th Level of the TD Square, 317 - 7 Ave. SW. Free. No registration required.|
|6:30 - 8 p.m.||Lawnchair Theatre. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy great snacks and live entertainment for the entire family, brought to you by Community and Neighbourhood Services. Bowness Park (Site #1 East), 8900 48th Ave. NW. Free. No registration required.|
|7 - 8:30 p.m.||Douglas Fir Preserve Natural History Tour. Take a walk on the wild side in sub-alpine Bowness Park with a nature educator and discover one of Calgary's finest ancient natural areas. Meet in the west-end parking lot of Bowness Park; access off 85th St. NW. Free. *Registration required. Code #196235.|
|Did you know…? Any un-reserved picnic site area is available for the public to use at no charge, on a first-come, first-served basis. The City of Calgary has ten picnic-destination parks,
416 BBQs and 138 fire pits…go for a BBQ in the park with friends and family tonight!
Bowness Park Prairie Winds Park
Carburn Park Pearce Estates
Edworthy Park Sandy Beach Park
Elliston Park Stanley Park
Glenmore Park Shouldice Park
Or call (403) 268-3830 to find out more about reserving a site for your future outdoor event.
|All day||Multicultural festivals in Centre City parks. Olympic Plaza is the place to be for Fiestaval celebrating Latin culture, while Shaw Millennium Park is host to the Indian Festival of the Chariots at 11:30 a.m. Check out the Calgary Turkish Festival at Eau Claire Festival Market, and while you're in the area, be sure to visit Prince's Island Park. Also nearby is Sien Lok Park that commemorates the history of Calgary's Chinese community.|
|9 - 10:30 a.m.||Reader Rock Garden Tour. Named after Calgary's fourth Superintendent of Parks from 1913 to 1942, this internationally acclaimed garden is a Provincial Historic Site and a tribute to William Reader's passion for plants and beauty. Adult $5.30/Child $3. *Registration required. Code #179674. Note: Each tour has a different code.|
|10 - 11 a.m.||Guided Walk at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Introducing you to the wonder of birds and other wild things living in the city. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, 2425 9 Ave. S.E. Free. *Registration required. Code #196185.|
*To register, please call 268-3800 with the course code listed.
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