Located between Broad Street Bridge and Rainbow Bridge.
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The Wascana Waterfowl Park is a 223 hectare thriving marshland within Regina's city limits. It's existence dates back to 1913 when planners had the foresight to establish the Wascana Game Preserve. Part of the preserve later became the Wascana Bird Sanctuary and then the Regina Waterfowl Park.
In 1961, the Regina Waterfowl Committee presented a brief to the Wascana Centre Planners.
The committee recommended that the Waterfowl Park be administered by Wascana Centre
The Committee's recommendations were adopted and the Waterfowl Park became part of the 100-year Wascana Centre Master Development Plan.
The wetlands of the northern Great Plains are one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. However, through indiscriminate drainage of the land for agricultural use, nearly half of Saskatchewan's original prairie wetlands have been lost over the years. With them has gone much of the wildlife which depends on the wetlands for survival. With drainage of lands continuing on the prairies, it is especially rewarding to see the great numbers of waterfowl, other birds, and mammals which continue to use the Wascana Waterfowl Park as a nesting and breeding area.
Each April, about 225 pair of Canada Geese begin nesting in the Park. Most nest on man-made Goose Island which provides protection for them during nesting.
Geese mate for life. They usually begin to nest at three years of age in the general area where the female was raised and learned to fly. Because of this, many of the goslings hatched in Wascana Centre are moved, before they learn to fly, to areas where the population is small. Their new home is where they will eventually return to nest and establish a goose population.
Tern Island was built of coarse gravel and rocks as a nesting place in the Park for common terns. In addition to geese and terns, several species of ducks and birds such as eared grebes, yellow-headed blackbirds, marsh wrens, and grassland sparrows frequent the Wascana Waterfowl Park. Several rare birds including the Arctic Loon, black scooter, black brant, glaucaus gull, and Virginia Rail have been identified in the Park.
The Wascana Waterfowl Park also has resident populations of mammals muskrat, mink, Jack rabbit, Richardson's ground squirrel, red fox, and beaver.
Boating and fishing are not allowed within the boundaries of the Wascana Waterfowl Park. A fence around 8 hectares of the Waterfowl Park Wascana Wildlife Refuge & Nature Reserve protects the vegetation of trees, shrubs, and grasses. The marsh vegetation along the edge of the lake - cattails, phragmites, three-sided sedge, and bullrushes - has been left in a natural state. Several species of native vegetation including snowberry, wild rose, scarlet mallow, woolly yarrow, and Lewis' wild flax can still be found within the Waterfowl Park.
The Wascana Waterfowl Park is an outdoor classroom for thousands of Saskatchewan children every year. Classes of young children are taken to visit the captive waterfowl at the display ponds in the spring and fall. Those who visit during the winter can see the same birds housed in the Waterfowl Winterhouse. The Winterhouse was designed by Harry J. Jedic Architects Ltd. with appropriate colour, lighting, heating, humidity controls and air circulation in an attempt to create as natural an environment as possible for the waterfowl.
Older children are taken on nature hikes through the marsh area, and they are taught to observe the plant and animal life in the Park. Some classes return several times during the year to observe the changes taking place from season to season.
The balance between habitat preservation and public education is a delicate one and must be closely monitored. The Wascana Centre authority hopes that by encouraging the limited use of the Waterfowl Park, people will gain an appreciation of their natural heritage. Children, the urban planners of the future, can learn the value of protecting and conserving natural resources.
(Information from a WCA Information Sheet)