By Joanne Cook
July 30th, 2011
Summer is here, the sun is shining and the one thing I love to do with my children is be outside! When we can, we like to explore the outdoors, surrounded by trees and water and animals (minus the bears and cougars). In our house, we refer to these outings as “adventure hikes”.
Now most parents know, while it’s nice to escape the hectic city and head for the hills, it isn’t always convenient or possible to do that on any given Tuesday (or Thursday or Saturday). But luckily for Calgarians, we are blessed with an abundance of nature trails, green spaces and parks throughout the city. And one of our favorites is the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.
Tucked away at the end of 9th Avenue SE (in Inglewood), the bird sanctuary is home to more than 270 species of birds and loads of amphibians, reptiles, fish, butterflies and mammals. There is never a shortage of things to look at, listen to or simply enjoy. Just this morning we watched a deer eat, drink and frolic in the lagoon, saw ducks, geese and their babies all swimming about, witnessed the handy-work of a hard working beaver and saw fish, birds and chipmunks all in their natural habitat. It was our own nature paradise, smack dab in the middle of a trendy neighborhood.
While the walk itself is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon, I love the hidden education my children are exposed to. It teaches them a love and respect for nature and expands their world and their views, all under the guise of an adventure hike.
The trails are great for strollers (they aren’t paved but they are well maintained) and you can visit this 36-hectare wildlife reserve year-round during daylight hours. There is no admission fee but donations are gratefully accepted in the Nature Centre (a wonderful little building filled with interesting facts and information about the park).
So if you are like me and enjoy a variety of activities, love to be outside and need an idea on where to spend a couple hours, do yourself and your children a favor and head to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. I’d be willing to bet it won’t be your last time there.
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary Contact Info:
2425 9 Avenue Southeast
Calgary, AB T2G 4T4