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Parks

    Status: Improving 

Parks provide many environmental and social benefits. Our parks provide habitat for trees and other plants, birds and other animals, and pollinators and other insects. Parks reduce stormwater run-off and store greenhouse gases (GHGs). And they include sports fields and other recreational spaces and contribute to the overall well-being, health, and enjoyment of Saskatoon residents and visitors.

In recent decades Saskatoon has created several “naturalized” parks, which are more biodiverse, feature drought-resistant native plants and grasses, and require less maintenance, mowing, fertilizer, and irrigation. These parks include various ecosystem types, such as native prairie, wetlands, and aspen parkland. Naturalized parks now make up about 15 percent of total Saskatoon park area.

Where are we now?

Park area in Saskatoon is increasing—overall and on a per-capita basis. Total park area has doubled since 1995, to 1,031 hectares in 2018. Per-capita park area is increasing, too, as this graph shows.

 

Source: City of Saskatoon – Parks; and Planning and Development

Data table

Area of Saskatoon Parks

Park Area per Person
  1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Park area per person (square meters per capita) 22.2 24.5 25.1 25.3 26.6 26.9 27.5 27.8 28.9 30.4 31.5 33.4 34.3 34.4 34.4 35.4 35.6 36.3 36.6 36.0 36.0 37.3 37.0 38.4 39.7 39.6 38.6 38.0 38.3

Source: City of Saskatoon – Parks; and Planning and Development 

What are we doing?

Green Strategy
As our city grows, new infrastructure will be needed and aging infrastructure will need to be replaced in ways that respect and complement our natural areas and living assets. The Green Strategy will be used to identify and manage natural areas and living assets; integrate green infrastructure for storm-water management, carbon storage, and air and water purifications into land-use planning; protect naturalized areas and natural assets; connect residents to a network of high quality, multifunctional green spaces; increase the connectivity of green space in order to enhance biodiversity; and create clear and consistent processes for development and decision making.

Naturalization Program for Parks
The City is developing naturalized parks with a goal of diversifying and enhancing the landscape, increasing biodiversity, and providing an urban refuge for various plants, animals, and insects. Naturalized parks require less irrigation and maintenance. They feature native plants and grasses, diverse natural ecosystems, and natural wetlands. They also feature walking trails and provide opportunities for education and connections with nature.

Natural Area Standards
The City is developing standards to protect natural areas and conserve biodiversity in and adjacent to developments. 

What can you do?

Utilize Saskatoon’s many parks and recreation facilities.

Become a Master Naturalist. The Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon have partnered to provide training to volunteers to enhance their capacities to work on conservation projects.

Look for volunteer opportunities that support and enhance our natural environment.

Did You Know

President Murray Park (between Aird street and Colony street) is Saskatoon’s oldest, created in 1912.