The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is just one of many parks in the city that is on the long road to recover after the June floods, but after an incredible post-flood effort, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is pleased to reopen to offer guided tours to the public.
Guided Tours at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Although all of the sanctuary isn’t yet open to the public, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary wanted to let visitors into the park to see the damage the floods caused to the landscape. The tour lets nature enthusiasts see the damage that floods have on the natural landscape. Tanya Hope, the Education Coordinator at the sanctuary, says that the tour can be “a bit of a shock” because of the extent of the damage. Despite the damage, Hope is happy that visitors will be able to see regeneration in the park: “Floods leave behind silt deposits, which is excellent fertilizer. The balsam poplar can handle the silt and are doing well.”
Balsam poplar is doing well after the floods. Image courtesy of Chris Manderson/City of Calgary
As well as new trees growing in the damaged areas, birds in the sanctuary are busying trying to re-nest. Chris Manderson, a Natural Area Management Lead, is hopeful about how the recovery process is going. “This is an example of just how resilient systems like this are,” he says.
Recovering From Flood Damage
Getting to this point was far from easy. Manderson explains that lots of work has already gone into recovery – and lots more work is still needed to make sure the whole park is safe for visitors without an experienced guide.
Damage to the Lagoon Bridge. Image courtesy of Chris Manderson/City of Calgary
“The natural recovery process is already under way, but to recover completely will likely take decades,” says Manderson. The June floods damaged the sanctuary’s bridges and boardwalks, and impacted the wildlife: the White-tailed deer lost their fawns and other mammals got hit pretty hard by the floods.
So far, the recovery process has involved an incredible amount of clean up so that the sanctuary could be reopened to the public.
What’s Next For the Sanctuary
Manderson isn’t entirely sure when the sanctuary will reopen fully, but the park is taking its time to rethink the design of the trails and platforms. “We’re taking the opportunity to make it work better, but the goal is to reopen fully next spring.”
In the mean time, Manderson hopes the public will take advantage of the sanctuary’s guided tours to see the bigger picture: “The value of protecting areas like this is very important; problems arise when we interfere with native vegetation. This whole experience highlights the need to protect our natural systems.”
Tours of the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary take place five days a week. Tours occur at 1PM Tuesdays through Thursdays, and at 11AM, 1:30PM and 4PM on weekends. All tours are by donation.