The Sackville Waterfowl Park

Every day after work I walk home through the Waterfowl Park: it is the best part of my day. Yesterday afternoon, for the first time in a couple of weeks, the sun was actually shining, so I couldn’t resist stopping to take a few pictures of the folks I saw along the way.

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I even managed to take a picture of the ever-elusive muskrat!

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The Waterfowl Park is an “Amazing Place” in the Fundy Biosphere Reserve, in conjunction with the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture. According to the Amazing Places website,

This park is a mostly man-made wetland with an extensive trail and boardwalk network that is an amazing place to observe waterfowl and other marshland wildlife in “downtown” Sackville. It is also directly adjacent to one of the largest freshwater wetlands in the province, the vast Tantramar wetlands complex.

This has several times been referred to as one of the best places in North America (by no less than National Geographic!) to observe and photograph wild waterfowl, given the diversity that occurs here. Over the years, many regionally rare species have also been seen here or even nested here, likely due to its proximity to one of the richest wetlands in the entire region. Some of the rare nesters here have included Ruddy Duck, Virginia Rail, Gadwall, American Wigeon and Northern Shoveler Ducks.

The Waterfowl Park was created in 1987-88 as a joint project of the Town of Sackville and Ducks Unlimited Canada. It consists of approximately 55 acres of wetlands near the centre as well as the edge of town (the portion I walk through daily begins about a 3-minute walk from my office – you can even reach a portion of the Trans-Canada Trail through the park!). There are 3.5 kilometres of boardwalk and walking trails, and the park is home to about 160 species of birds (including 26 confirmed breeding species), and almost 200 different types of plant life.

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You can take a 1 ½ hour guided tour of the park between mid-May and August ($6 for adults, $4 for seniors and children under 12, $12 for a family of four), or do a self-guided tour (maps available at the Sackville Tourist Information Centre, which is located beside one of the park entrances). Whether you do a tour, or just get out for a stroll and a picnic beside the Doncaster Bridge, it is definitely worth spending some time!

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