Walk 5: A Place for Wildlife
(Walks Through Wascana Centre -WCA Pamphlet 2001)
Wascana Centre Authority Pamphlet (2001)
A growing awareness of the natural environment and a realization of its fragility has resulted in an increased emphasis on the preservation of plant and animal life.
The foresight of urban planners in 1913 initially provided Regina with a Game Preserve. In 1961 one year prior to the formation of Wascana Centre ideas for the Waterfowl Park started to take form. At this time, the Regina Waterfowl Park Committee presented a brief to the Wascana Centre Planning Committee which offered three objectives:
a) the establishment and enlargement in population of birds and wildlife;
b) the development, preservation and maintenance of the area so it can be in as natural a marsh condition as possible with the associated native flora.
c) the encouragement of the use of the area by the public, organized groups, and the University for research, education and special recreational purposes.
This walk covers a section of the Wascana Waterfowl Park and provides the opportunity to see the balance between a completely natural, undisturbed preserve and a habitat designed for public education and enjoyment.
1.35 kilometres 20 minutes (approximate)
1) This walk begins along the boardwalk by the shoreline. Constructed in 1979, its purpose is to protect the shoreline from erosion.
2) Although the lake area between Albert and Broad street was deepened in 1930, this particular area was left undisturbed. The shallow marshes, slow moving waters and lush and varied vegetation are the ingredients for a natural prairie marsh and an appropriate location for our waterfowl park.
3) Behind and to the south is the University of Regina main campus. Construction began on the main campus in 1965. The University of Regina was originally established in 1934 as the Regina campus of the University of Saskatchewan, but became an independent institution on July 1, 1974.
4) A little further along and through the trees is Tern Island, a small man-made island. This island is the annual nesting ground for about 25 pairs of terns. This small whitish-grey bird with a black patch on top of its head can often be seen hovering over the water ready to dive for minnows.
5) Across the water to the east is Wascana Hill. It is approximately 18 metres high and is used for recreational purposes such as tobogganing, cross-country skiing and mountain biking. The hill was constructed using soil from various building excavation sites in Wascana Centre and Regina.
6) Up ahead and to your right is the Waterfowl Display Ponds. During the summer, visitors are welcome to walk around the display ponds to see a variety of waterfowl. With the aid of the display panel, the birds can be studied at leisure. Injured birds are protected here in addition to the healthy birds that have been wing-clipped. In late fall, these birds are moved into the Waterfowl Winterhouse located across the lake east of Wascana Hill. A public viewing area is included in this overwintering structure.
7) Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts (Conexus Arts Centre) was built as a centennial project in 1967 for the Province of Saskatchewan. It provides southern Saskatchewan with a versatile centre for cultural and theatrical productions. The cream coloured Manitoba Tyndall stone accented by the dark brown Estevan brick add interest to the exterior of the building. There are three main areas within the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts: Shirley Bell Theatre; Schumiatcher Theatre; and Doris Knight Hall. Shirley Bell Theatre has one of the largest stages in North America. It is equivalent in size to the Lincoln Centre in New York City and to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts was completed in 1970 and featured Bill Cosby as its opening act.
8) Across the water to the north is the Saskatchewan Science Centre and the Kramer Imax Theatre. The Science Centre has fun and educational exhibits for all ages to enjoy; the Imax Theatre shows the most technically advanced motion pictures in the world.
9) To the left is a metal structure entitled "The Four Seasons". This piece of abstract art was created by Doug Bentham and purchase by Wascana in 1981 for $17,000.00 fulfilling the mandate to advance cultural arts.
10) To the west is the Broad Street Bridge which forms the western boundary of the Waterfowl Park. Waterfowl Park extends beyond the Trans-Canada by-pass and covers a total area of 222.3 hectares. Sailing and rowing are not allowed east of the Broad Street Bridge, therefore the waterfowl and other wildlife need never fear their marsh will be disturbed by humans.