Friday, March 30, 2012

Nature isn't far away in Calgary

I was on my way to the zoo when my friend called me - the zoo is living up to its name - can't get in the parking lot - too busy - spring break - please, let's go somewhere else.  I looked back at my son, knowing I had promised him a trip to the zoo, and he was passed out sound asleep.  What to do?  Toddlers may be young but they have very good memories when it comes to things owing or promised them. This my friend found out the hard way as she turned away from the zoo and was hit with sobs from the back seat.  Her son definitely wanted to see some animals.

Fortunately, we live in a city full of nature and wildlife waiting to be explored.  You don't need a zoo pass to see squirrels, birds, deer, coyotes, porcupines, the odd  bear, and even the occasional cougar.  You can't drive more than fifteen minutes in Calgary without coming across a creek, ravine, forest, river, park or natural area.  I took these things for granted before I had a child and would drive over an hour to find nature in the mountains every weekend.  We still drive to the mountains a lot but we are exploring our city too every chance we get.

Seeing as Noah was sleeping, and we still planned to do something with our friends, we drove down to my favorite park in Calgary; North Glenmore Park .  I don't know how long it takes to cross your city, but it's a good hour at least to drive from North to South Calgary (in good traffic); the perfect distance to allow a child to have a nice nap.  Many if not most people who visit North Glenmore stick to the paved paths winding their way through the park.  Another percentage don't get past the playgrounds or the path above the Elbow River Delta.  Nature lovers though have discovered a secret gem in this park; the Weaselhead Flats Natural Environment Park. 

Why should you visit Weaselhead Flats?  The City of Calgary website describes this unique area in the following words:
Delve into the only delta in the city. As the Elbow River flows into the Glenmore Reservoir it slows down, thus depositing sand and gravel creating a network of bars, channels and marsh areas. This type of habitat is called a delta and is host to a relatively unique array of plants and animals. Weaselhead Flats also contain one of the largest stands of coniferous forest in the city.
If words aren't enough, photos usually do it for me.   I'll leave you with my favorite photos of Noah and his friend enjoying this precious part of our city.

Toddlers running free and happy

Playing in the meadow

You'd never know you were still in the city when you are in the Weaselhead

Mud, puddles, and snow - oh my (our mantra for the day)

What child doesn't love sticks!

Noah was fascinated by these branches

Waving his branches in practice for Palm Sunday

The boys had so much fun in the mud!

The puddle that was almost a lake for the boys

I'd love to hear about your favorite park or natural area.
Where do you go when you need to reconnect with nature?


  1. Love your hike ideas I have 3 kids and want get out with them ...

    1. I'll be posting tabs soon with lists of the best hikes for small kids and families.