Located in the city’s southeast, the Shepard Wetlands at Ralph Klein Provincial Park is the largest man-made urban wetland in the country and the cornerstone of the city’s wetland conservation efforts.
The wetland was created to control flooding and naturally purify urban runoff as it flows toward the Bow River.
Opened in 2011, the park is named for former Calgary mayor and Alberta premier Ralph Klein and is home to the Environmental Education and Ethics Centre. The interpretive learning venue houses an art studio, classrooms, meeting rooms and viewing decks.
The striking angular building appears to float upon the surrounding marshlands. The glass-walled building was designed to blend into the surrounding landscape and features outdoor walkways from which to view the wetland and its many hawks, shorebirds and waterfowl.
Educational programs for families or individuals offered at the Centre include topics such as ecology and environment, biodiversity, water conservation, art, architecture and design.
On August 18, the park offers a two-hour bird-watching hike, 7 am until 9 am in the off-limits areas, $36.75 per person.
For registration or more upcoming events, visit the City of Calgary website.
– Sarah Sussman