I’m a long-term resident of Saskatoon and I’m even an avid outdoor enthusiast. That’s why it came as a quite a surprise when my kids insisted that we make a trip to Grasslands. Grasslands? The only ‘grasslands’ I’d heard of was the national park 6 hours away! Obviously not the place my two older children had been there on a day-long field trip.
Curious and always up for something new, this weekend we loaded the kids up in the car where they directed us to park at Mother Theresa School in Silverspring. From here, it was a hop, skip, and a mere step through a break in the fence and we’d arrived at the Meewasin treasure! Surprise! Grasslands is no small gem! It is a full 34 acres of unspoilt native prairie grassland nestled right into the city! Inspiring visions of times past, Grasslands Saskatoon is a haven of a habitat for native fescue grasses, flowering and non-flowering plants, trees, birds, animals and insects! In the hour we spent there, we were privy to sightings of chickadees, sparrows, deer, and a number of birds of prey that my limited knowledge could not identify.
My kids, fresh off a field trip, were also able to direct us to a spectacular fossil rock located just off Konihowski Road near LeMay Crescent. This substantial cream-coloured rock prominently located on the walking path near the road is full of easily identifiable imprints of insects and shells from millions of years ago. We were also fascinated by the relatively rocky terrain and the randomly placed larger boulders covered with beautiful species of lichen which, we gathered from signage, were indicative of the melting of glaciers some 10,000 years ago. Throughout the walk, the kids were also excited to point out scat from the various animals (coyotes, deer, and rabbit) that call Grasslands home, a treasure I found far less appealing on my shoe.
The stark but fascinating contrast to the complete unspoilt beauty of Grasslands is the rising of several teepee-like structures, erected by sources-unknown, scattered throughout some of copses. Our kids were compelled to set foot inside every single one, and I’ll admit they did make an attractive backdrop for a photo-op!
We explored, picnicked (**there are no garbage cans***), and otherwise enjoyed passing a beautiful sunny afternoon at Grasslands Saskatoon! Times and places like these remind me how lucky we are to live in a place of subtle but spectacular natural beauty. The 90 odd minutes we spent there were enough for our three-year-old’s interests but not enough to explore the park in its entirety. We look forward to going back soon!