The natural, undeveloped areas within our city support a diversity of plants and wildlife, perform “ecological functions” such as reducing and filtering storm water, storing greenhouse gases, removing harmful pollutants from the air, and contribute to our overall well-being and health.
Protected lands are an important part of our natural areas network and help meet the long-term Environmental Leadership strategy in the Strategic Plan to improve access to ecological systems.
Where are we now?
What are we doing?
Natural Area Screening
For suburban development areas the City prepares Sector Plans , which includes a screening study to identify areas with ecological or natural heritage significance. The study is used to reduce the environmental impact of the development’s design and could result in designating land as a Municipal Reserve, an Environmental Reserve or a Meewasin Valley Conservation Area.
Saskatoon’s Northeast Swale is an ancient river channel and one of the largest pieces of unbroken natural habitat in the Saskatoon region. The City has collaborated with Meewasin Valley Authority to develop a plan to protect this sensitive natural area within the urban context.
Saskatoon is located in the Prairie Pothole region and wetlands are found within the city and its surroundings. The City has adopted a policy so that wetlands are inventoried and assessed and that minimizes the impact of development.
The City has started work on a Natural Area Strategy that will develop an overall vision for natural areas along with a strategy, policy and procedures to conserve and integrate natural areas into urban development.
What can you do?
Did You Know?
The City of Saskatoon has a Naturalization Program for parks that creates valuable habitat in neighbourhoods and reduces costs of irrigation, mowing or fertilizers. The parks with natural areas include Gabriel Dumont Park, Lakewood, Hyde and Donna Birkmaier Parks.