Bunchberry Meadows by Katelyn Ceh
Alberta is a great place to live. It's a big beautiful province full of all kinds of natural wonders. This is where we introduce you to the diversity of wildlife and unique and interesting wild spaces that are part of your Big Alberta Backyard. Here you will learn about the Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area near Edmonton.
Bunchberry Meadows is owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and the Edmonton and Area Land Trust (EALT). It is located 30 minutes from downtown Edmonton and is open to the public year-round for hiking, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Before NCC and EALT purchased the property, Bunchberry was owned and cared for by five families. They used the property for walking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding. Many of the trails visitors enjoy today were skied and hiked by the families for years.
When the families decided it was time to sell the land, they felt the property should be conserved and kept wild for others to enjoy and connect with nature. They chose to work with NCC and EALT to make sure Bunchberry would always be protected for wildlife and provide a place for people to escape the city and experience nature. Without the generosity of these families, and their love for Bunchberry Meadows, we wouldn’t have this amazing place to explore.
What makes it special:
A walk along the eight kilometers of trails will take you through several different habitat types and you might even be lucky enough to see some wildlife along the way!
There are many kinds of plants, animals and birds that make Bunchberry Meadows an interesting and wonderful place to visit. You can see so much in a short, easy hike! This area has different types of forests, including jack pine, aspen, larch and paper birch, which provide homes for moose, great horned owls, and porcupines. The open meadows are visited by coyotes, deer, and red fox and in the wetlands you can hear boreal chorus and wood frogs calling in the spring.
Some of the best parts of Bunchberry are the birch forest, which is has lots of tall paper birch trees with bright white peeling bark, and the jack pine trees, where you might see porcupines munching on the bark if you look way up. The trail through the larch trees is unique because the ground is squishy and covered in last year’s needles, making your footsteps silent as you walk. All these areas are so different from one another, who knew that there is so much to learn and explore in a place so close to Edmonton?
It’s important that everyone does their part to take care of and protect our wild spaces, not only for the plants, animals and birds who call them home but also so we can explore and enjoy them. We hope you can get out to Bunchberry this summer!
If you would like to visit Bunchberry Meadows, you can find the directions and map to the area on the Nature Conservancy of Canada website at: https://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/where-we-work/alberta/featured-projects/bunchberry/
Nature Alberta is incorporated as the Federation of Alberta Naturalists under the Alberta Societies Act and is a registered charitable organization.