Thursday, August 4, 2011

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary: A hidden gem in the heart of the city

Hidden away at the end of 9 ave in the S.E. of Calgary's downtown is a 36-hectare wildlife reserve. In this wooded area two kilometres of level pathways surround a connected series of small ponds and marshes. The lagoon is home to more than 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and almost 400 types of plants.

The enclave of wilderness provides a local destination for migratory birds and some much needed breathing room for our wild neighbours. The area is reminiscent of the boreal forest systems found throughout Alberta and disguises the central city location.

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a City run park, free for use by the public, and provides access to the natural world for school groups and other nature lovers. The park features a nature centre and day camps and allows for the quiet discovery of Calgary's natural environment.

"You can have a great day in nature and you don't have to go to Banff, you don't have to go to the national parks - there's lots to do right here in the city." We were told by Jennifer Gouveia, a Program Advisor with the park. " We can teach kids how to bird watch, we go on bug hunts where we collect insects, we teach them how to nature journal and help to increase their connection with nature".

The park offers nature summer camps all season long and has 3 more sessions planned for August. We're told that available space is almost booked up but that there is still room for a few more people.

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