Wascana Park

Wascana Park: Formerly One of the Biggest Urban Parks in Canada

About Wascana Park

Wascana Park has been visited by the majority of Regina residents and tourists for various reasons. It is popular to appreciate both the natural and historical aspects of the park, which serves as a focal point within the city. However, few people are aware of some of the park's unique features, facts, and record-breaking achievements. It is one of North America's biggest parks. Wascana Park, at 930 hectares, or 9.3 square kilometres, is one of the biggest in North America, larger than the combined 405 hectares of Stanley Park in Vancouver and 341 hectares of Central Park in New York. That means there's plenty of room for residents and tourists to enjoy the outdoors in the heart of the city. It's the ideal time to take a breather and smell the flowers. The Queen Elizabeth II Gardens, which are backed by an outstanding view of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building, provide a colourful display of flowers to enjoy during the spring and summer months.

The garden has about 25, 000 annuals, with an additional 5,000 scattered across the grounds of the Legislature. There are 50,000 plants in the Wascana Centre Authority (which includes the University of Regina and Research Park). It's well worth the time to stop and smell the flowers. The park gives out free food to the birds. The Conexus Arts Centre is situated across from the Waterfowl Display Ponds, which are a set of three ponds. Visitors are welcome to feed Stella the swan, as well as the local geese and ducks, in this less-known section of Wascana Park's natural environment. The Wascana Centre offers free grain to the birds, but residents are encouraged to bring fresh greens instead of bread, since bread is unhealthy for the birds.

History

The name "Wascana" comes from the Cree word Oscana, which means "pile of bones," and refers to the plains bison bones that were strewn near Wascana Creek before non-indigenous people arrived.
Wascana Lake was constructed in 1883 by damming Wascana Creek between Angus and Rae Streets, 112 blocks west of the current Albert Street dam and bridge, to serve as a "stock drinking place" for the CPR's rolling stock. Reginans began to utilise the lake for leisure purposes, such as sailing and canoeing. In 1905, the newly established provincial government began construction on a capital building in Regina. Frederick Todd, a landscape architect, was commissioned to create a first design study for the grounds around the structure and lake, which was finished in 1907 and was inspired by the English Romantic Landscape movement. In 1908, the lake was significantly decreased when a new dam and bridge were built in their current position, based on Todd's original drawings and park plans. As the project progressed, an enlarged design was sought from architect Thomas Mawson, which was completed in 1912 and served as the park's pattern for the following 50 years.

The lake was utilised as a residential water supply and for animal watering for a while, and it also supplied the new parliamentary building with water. However, when lake water was utilised to cool equipment in the eastern sector's power plant (now the Powerhouse Museum), a longer-term impact occurred. Due to the return of heated water to the lake, that section remained ice-free during the winter, and many species of migrating birds made it their year-round home. Despite the fact that the old coal-fired power plant was shut down in the early 1970s, a permanent/non-migrating flock of Canada geese that had become used to wintering in the city had to be gathered up and either moved out of the city or, if wounded, kept in a waterfowl sanctuary. The yearly geese round-up was still going strong in the 1990s. The eastern part of the lake is still a haven for ducks. As part of a government relief effort in the 1930s, Wascana Lake was drained and deepened. Using just hand tools and horse-drawn carts, 2,100 men expanded and excavated the lake bottom and built two islands. Beyond the College Avenue buildings, which date back to 1911 and began as a private Methodist secondary school that became the College Avenue Campus, it was decided to construct a new campus for the University of Saskatchewan in Regina.

Statistics

Wascana Park was formerly one of Canada's biggest urban parks, if not the largest, but in 1968, Pippy Park in St. John's, Newfoundland, was created at 3,400 acres, making it 1100 acres bigger than Wascana. Since then, the list has grown to include more major cities. Wascana Park in Saint John, New Brunswick, edged out Rockwood Park, which was established in 1871 and has 2200 acres. With 843 acres (3.4 km2), Wascana Centre is bigger than Central Park in New York City and Stanley Park in Vancouver (4 km2). According to promotional material, Wascana Centre is Canada's fourth biggest urban park.

Wascana Waterfowl Park

Wascana Waterfowl Park, located east of the Broad Street bridge on Wascana Lake, offers a haven for geese, ducks, and other species that do not migrate south for the winter. In the Park, geese begin to lay their eggs. The majority of them lay their eggs on the man-made Goose Island, which provides them with shelter while they are nesting. Mammals like as muskrats, minks, Jack rabbits, Richardson's ground squirrels, red foxes, and beavers live in the Wascana Waterfowl Park.

Mckell Wascana Conservation Park

McKell Wascana Conservation Park in Regina is a 171-acre park devoted to preserving and restoring natural grassland and wetland ecosystems. The park has 4 kilometres of groomed nature paths with interpretive stations and benches, a pier for going near to the stream for pond dipping, and an entrance plaza and amphitheatre for educational programmes, which was developed in collaboration with the City of Regina and the McKell family. His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh formally dedicated the project in 2005.

The park received a municipal Environmental Stewardship Award in 2009 from the City of Regina. For their efforts in arranging this initiative, we were also given the Saskatchewan Watershed Stewardship Award. 12001 Wascana Circle is the address for the park. Take Prince of Wales south to Wascana Gate S, turn east to Wascana Circle, and continue south for approximately half a kilometre. In this stretch of grassland environment, explore our natural landscape. You are free to go off the pathways, but please be respectful of animals and keep an eye out for breeding birds.

Wascana Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary And Other Wildlife

The Wascana Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary is situated in Regina, Saskatchewan, and is part of the Wascana Waterfowl Park, which is part of the Wascana Centre, a larger park complex. This sanctuary was created on July 12, 1956, as a result of a campaign started by Fred Bard, Director of the Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History, in the early 1950s. Dr. Bard was concerned about the impact of urbanisation in the Wascana Centre region on migrating birds. The park complex, which contains the Provincial Museum of Natural History, the Saskatchewan Legislative Buildings, and the University of Regina campus, was built around a man-made lake and adjacent wetlands on Wascana Creek. Frederick Bard was an early conservationist. He was one of the first individuals in North America to raise awareness to the endangered whooping crane, and he was also instrumental in reintroducing the Canada geese to the prairies when it had almost vanished. Every year, around 200 breeding pairs of Canada geese, as well as mallard, northern pintail, and blue-winged teal, lay their eggs in the park. The refuge also draws at least 115 other migratory bird species, including huge flocks of waterfowl that visit in the spring and autumn to rest and eat. Within the sanctuary, three man-made islands offer protected breeding habitat for this ducks.

Activities

The Wascana Centre is wheelchair accessible. Walking around the lake without stopping takes approximately one hour. Each year, the park offers a number of public events, so keep an eye on the park's website while you plan your visit. On the paved, maintained pathways, try cycling, rollerblading, or running for a more active day. Play Frisbee with your pals or locate a piece of open grass and play soccer while admiring the view. After a day of touring in the city, the park is the ideal location to relax and appreciate nature.

Enjoy feeding the birds at the Wascana Waterfowl Park, which is home to geese, swans, ducks, and pelicans. Although most species migrate south for the winter, the wetlands is worth visiting all year for its breathtaking views and sunset picture possibilities. Keep an eye out for the local mink, beaver, muskrat, and red fox. Wascana Centre's closeness to many of Regina's top cultural, historical, and political sites is perhaps its greatest asset. Walking and cycling paths link the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, the Legislative Building, and the MacKenzie Art Gallery, which are all situated close to the park. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake's 2.5-mile (four-kilometer) path. Find old-fashioned bridges and the Trafalgar Fountain, which formerly located in England's Trafalgar Square, among the many beautiful sights along this route. Speakers' Corner, near the park's northern edge, has a charming historical touch, lighted up each night by antique gas lights from London.

The park is littered with benches and lookouts, so stay a while and refuel your batteries. Regina's green, cultural, and recreational heart is Wascana Centre. The beautiful Wascana Lake is surrounded by a 2,300-acre (nine-square-kilometer) park that serves as the background for Regina. The lake was built in 1883 by damming Wascana Creek to supply water for cattle, but it soon became popular with locals. Since then, the lake and adjacent park have been gradually deepened and renovated. It is now one of the world's most spectacular human-sculpted natural landscapes.
 

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