Four Seasons of Fun for the Whole Family!
NATURE at Your Doorstep
Do you like to visit parks? Edmonton has many parks,
including the North Saskatchewan River Valley park system,
which is one of North America’s longest stretches of
parkland. Families and friends can enjoy many fun and safe
activities in the city parks all year round.
Edmonton’s parks are also places where you can have
fun discovering and learning about nature. You can see
a variety of birds, plants and animals, especially in parks
with trees and ponds. The City of Edmonton has partnered
with Environment Canada’s Biosphere to provide you with
this nature activity booklet.
The Biosphere in Montréal
Photo: © Environment Canada
Ice on Whyte Festival at Festival Park
Biosphere: ec.gc.ca/biosphere
City of Edmonton: edmonton.ca
Photo: © City of Edmonton
Environment Canada’s Biosphere, located in Montréal, is
a museum dedicated to the environment. The Biosphere
develops many activities for people all over Canada in
order to get Canadians interested in the environment
and to take action to protect it. Have fun!
Spend time in parks and natural areas...
and share your experiences.
What is an Urban BioKit?
It is a guide to help you learn about nature in the city. The guide suggests some
activities you can enjoy when you explore nature in Edmonton.
Here is how the BioKit works
1.Choose a park to visit.
2. Bring a pencil and paper and if available:
•measuring tape
• plant and animal guidebooks
• binoculars
•magnifying glass
• pocket mirror
• crayons
• paint set
• GPS unit
3.On your way to and from the park, look at and listen to what is around you.
4.When you're back home, discuss your park visit with your family and friends.
Go to the BioKits website to explore all Biokits.
Photo: © Government
of Alberta
The bold and underlined words are defined in the glossary at the end of
this document on pages 38–39.
In the electronic version of this guide, highlighted words are hyperlinks
to a website.
During your
travel from your front door
to the park, check off (√ ) the
items in the drawing as you see
them. Why are they important?
(See the examples below.)
Nature and People in the City
Describe how Edmonton’s environment is different from where you were born.
© City of Edmonton
Illustrator: Amanda Woodward
n 10
n 7
n 5
n 1
n 4
n 11
n 3
n 6
n 8
n 2
n 9
1 Trees, shrubs and flowers = make our city beautiful, clean the air and provide places for wildlife to live 2 Native insects and animals = show that
our urban environment is healthy 3 "Green" transportation = creates less greenhouse gases 4 Community gardens = offer local fresh food and
opportunities to meet people 5 Libraries = have guidebooks about Alberta’s nature 6 Recycle stations = keep garbage out of the landfill 7 Container
gardens and natural yards = offer food and home for some small animals 8 Birdhouses, feeders and baths = help birds stay healthy in the city
9 Farmers’ market = provides fresh food and supports the local economy 10 Backyard compost pile = makes good soil for the garden, less garbage
in the landfill 11 A neighbourhood business = adds diversity to the local economy
Today I Am Visiting
See “Edmonton’s Parks,” Page 36
See “Getting to the Parks,” Page 36
Park visited:__________________________________________
Departure time:_______________________________________
Return time:__________________________________________
GPS coordinates (optional):_________________________________
How did you get to the park? (check one)
Photo: © Gerald Romanchuk
Call 780-468-4940 or visit
weatheroffice.gc.ca to
find out today’s forecast.
© City of Edmonton
Illustrator: Amanda Woodward
Eco-friendly tips
for park visitors:
• Please do not pick flowers or
other plants.
Today the weather is:
The season is:
n Sunny
n Partly cloudy
n Cloudy
n Spring
n Summer
n Rainy
n Snowy
n Windy
n Fall
n Winter
• Stay on trails.
• Use provided fire pits for
cooking and campfires.
• Enjoy watching the wildlife
quietly and from a distance.
• Please put garbage in garbage
Visit leavenotrace.ca
© Environment Canada
Illustrator: Caroline Brunet
© City of Edmonton
Illustrator: Amanda Woodward
Weather conditions, seasons and the time of day all influence which animals you
may see at the park. Furthermore, some flowers only open at specific times of the
day. Visit this park during a different time or season for new discoveries!
Park Visit
A Place to enjoy!
Take a deep breath and look around you.
Describe what you see and how it makes you feel.
Did you know...
Some people think the sounds of the Blackbilled Magpie are too loud and not musical.
But most people agree that it is a very beautiful
and smart bird. It builds large nests of sticks in
trees, even along busy streets. The nests are
easily seen in the fall and winter when the
trees have no leaves.
Circle the words that best describe the smell of the air:
fresh clean polluted dirty stinkyfruity
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/HeathBurro
other ____________________________________________
Where are the smells coming from?
Did you know...
This confident, clever bird is the subject of myths and legends in many cultures.
In Chinese culture the magpie is known as a messenger of good fortune. In European folklore it is a thief.
Talk about an animal legend or myth from your culture with the people around you.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia)
Photo: © Gerald Romanchuk
Crick, Crack, Tweet!
• The sounds in our environment affect our health.
• Close your eyes and listen.
• Write down the sounds you hear and circle the
sounds you enjoy:
Lichen on a tree trunk – Photo: © Terri Perron
Trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) – Photo: © P.J. Cotterill
From nature:
Looking for Lichens
The variety and quantity of
lichens growing on tree
trunks can tell us about air
quality. Lichens are thin crusty
growths on trees or rocks.
Many lichens are sensitive
and die when air pollution
levels are high.
From human activity:
Look at the tree trunks near you
• Do you see any lichens?
• Do you see different types
of lichen?
Did you know...
The sound of trembling aspen leaves flapping (or trembling) in the wind
is heard often in the parks. This tree is also called aspen poplar.
Something in the Air
Trees release oxygen
through their leaves.
1. Find a large flat leaf and
a small needle-like leaf.
Now rub them with your
The atmosphere is
the layer of air that
surrounds the Earth.
It protects us from
the sun's harmful rays,
and regulates our climate.
This air is made up of different
types of gases that we breathe all
the time. Every living thing needs
the atmosphere to survive.
2. Does one leaf feel waxy
like a crayon? Why do you
think some leaves
are waxy?
3. Smell your fingers. Do you
recognize the different
4. Why are some leaves flat
and wide?
Eco-friendly tips
for clean air:
• Walk.
• Use your bicycle.
• Carpool.
• Take the bus.
• Turn off your car when
you are not driving.
Did you know...
2. The wax reduces water loss.
4. Flat, wide leaves can capture more sunlight,
which they need to make their own food.
Every day one mature tree releases enough oxygen for four people to breathe. Plants
take carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil. They use energy from the sun
to turn these things into their own food. Oxygen is released during this process.
Urban Biodiversity
What is growing around here?
What is biodiversity?
There are millions of species on the Earth.
The variety of life on Earth is called biological
diversity (biodiversity). Edmonton’s different
types of natural areas provide homes for
many plants and animals. Natural areas
include river, ravine, wetland and forest.
What type of natural area are you in today?
What is growing here?
Are the trees healthy? Look at the leaves. Are they spotted, insect-eaten or yellow?
Black-capped Chickadee
(Poecile atricapillus)
Photo: © Gerald Romanchuk
How many boxes can you check off? Keep looking, you may discover new species a little further on.
Deciduous trees
Other flowering plants
© Environment Canada – Illustrator: Louise-Catherine Bergeron
Ribbon of Green
The North Saskatchewan River park system runs through the middle of Edmonton. It forms
one of the largest stretches of city parkland in North America. We call it the “Ribbon of
Green.” The parks have many walking and biking trails to enjoy. It is also an important area
for wildlife movement.
Photo: © City of Edmonton,
Office of Biodiversity
Voyageur Canoeing
Program on North
Saskatchewan River
Photo: © City of Edmonton,
River Valley Programs
Find out more
See “Get Involved,” Page 35
See “Programs, Clubs and Events,” Page 36
Did you know...
Have you noticed anything dangerous for
humans or wildlife in this park (broken glass,
illegal fire pits, plastic bags, etc.)?
City of Edmonton Park Rangers
watch over the river valley and
other parks seven days a
week! They help keep these
areas safe and enjoyable.
Contact City of Edmonton Park Rangers by calling 311
or emailing: [email protected]
Emergency phones are provided in many parks.
Photo: © City of Edmonton,
River Valley, Forestry and Environmental Services
Fresh Water... yours to protect
In Edmonton, the river, streams, lakes,
wetlands and groundwater are very
important for sustaining local biodiversity,
including humans! Did you know that we
get our drinking water from the North
Saskatchewan River?
Sometimes our water can be polluted by
soil, pesticides, fertilizers, road salt, pet
droppings, oil and grease from the roads.
Important work is being done in Edmonton
to protect water quality. For example, new
wetlands are being designed with plants
around the edge that filter the water before
it reaches the river.
“Our Natural Home”– 2010 by Artist Kris Friesen. This mural is one in a series called “Giants of Edmonton.” The murals are a joint project of the City of Edmonton Capital
City Clean Up Graffiti Program and 630 CHED Radio to reduce and prevent graffiti vandalism. Photo: © City of Edmonton
• Do you see a stream,
wetland or river?
• Do you see garbage or
signs of pollution?
Did you know... Cattails are
water-purifying superstars! They
absorb pollutants.They also make
the shoreline stronger and stop
soil from coming into a wetland.
Common Cattail (Typha latifolia)
Photo: © City of Edmonton, Office of Biodiversity
Eco-friendly tips for clean water:
• Avoid using pesticides and weed killers for your yard.
• Care for your vehicle and fix leaks.
• Clean up after your pet.
• Sweep your sidewalk and driveway onto your grass or flower bed rather than washing down with a hose.
• Be careful not to disturb the plants along the edges of rivers, lakes and wetlands.
Hello... anybody home?
Take a closer look
at trees.
They provide food and homes
for many animals including
Wasp nest
Photo: © Parks Canada,
A. Guindon
Knowing animals’ habitats and
the food they like will help you
know where to look for them.
American Robin nest
Photo: © Claude Godin
Spittlebug nest
Photo: © G.J. Leonhard,
LSU, Bugwood.org
© City of Edmonton
Illustrator: Amanda Woodward
As you tour the rest of the park, look up and down. Can you see the animals?
An animal may do different things at different levels of the forest.
Write down the animals you see today:
What levels of the forest are they in?
What are they doing?
A forest has many kinds of small
habitats. These include:
• Tree tops (canopy);
• Understory (plants growing
under the tree tops);
• Forest floor (on the ground);
• Dead standing trees (snags);
• Dead fallen trees (logs).
Look for Clues!
Animals are not always seen during a park
visit, but they often leave behind signs that
they have been there.
Follow that trail! If you see an animal
footprint, look for other clues such as
leftover food, scratch marks, scat, fur,
feathers, bark rubbings, etc.
Squirrel sign – Photo: © Terri Perron
Woodpecker sign
Photo: © Terri Perron
© City of Edmonton
Illustrator: Amanda Woodward
Porcupine sign
Photo: © Terri Perron
Draw a picture of the animal sign that you saw. Write down other clues
that may help you identify the animal using a guidebook.
Animal Diversity
How many different types
of animals can you see?
Include pets, street animals, farm animals and wild animals:
_____ Amphibians
_____ Reptiles
_____ Mammals
Find out more
Eco-friendly tips
for city biodiversity:
See “Plants and Animals
in Edmonton,” Page 37
Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) spend most
of their time in trees eating leaves and bark.
Photo: © Pictureguy66 | Dreamstime.com
• Try not to use chemicals on
your yard or garden.
• Put a bell on your cat and
keep it indoors at night to 16
encourage birds and small
mammals to visit your yard.
_____ Fish
_____ Birds
• Keep your dog on a leash so
it does not scare wildlife and
dig up their habitats.
• Visit the Hinterland Who’s
Who website for information
on attracting wildlife to your
yard and how to protect
_____ Others
© City of Edmonton – Illustrator: Amanda Woodward
Did you know... This rodent is covered with barbed quills
that protect it from predators. Porcupines cannot throw these
quills. Rather, the quills come out when touched.
Insects are animals too!
Think again before you step on, spray or slap an insect or spider. They are very important to have on land and in water.
Look around you with or without your magnifying glass. Do you see insects on the plants, ground or flying in the air?
Half-black bumble bee (Bombus vagans) on gaillardia flower
Photo: © Patsy Cotterill
Check off those you see.
n Butterflies
and caterpillars
n Bees, wasps
and ants
Pollinating Insects:
These insects carry pollen from flower to flower. Bees, wasps,
butterflies, beetles and flies are among these beneficial insects.
They help produce over 70% of our food crops.
Some insects also:
• eat dead animals and plants;
• eat other insects that damage crops and property;
• eat weeds;
• become food for birds, frogs and other animals.
Currently, pollinating insects are threatened by the following:
• loss of habitat;
• the use of pesticides;
• competition with non-native species;
• diseases and parasites.
© iStockphoto.com/Antagain
n Ladybugs
and beetles
n Dragonflies
and damselflies
n Others
© City of Edmonton – Illustrator: Amanda Woodward
n Flies and
Vulnerable Species
Edmonton provides habitat to some rare plants
and animals. These species are at risk because
of habitat loss, poison, invasive species, car
collisions, etc. One example is the Peregrine
Falcon – a bird of prey.
In the wild, a Peregrine
Falcon nests on a ledge of
a steep cliff close to a river
or wet area. In the city,
a Peregrine can nest on
a tall building or bridge.
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrines)
Photos: © Gordon Court
Use the Falcon cameras!
Webcams on the Clinical Sciences Building
at the University of Alberta let you watch the
nesting sites of Peregrines. In the spring,
watch the baby birds hatch and grow!
Look Around!
Have you noticed a
spot that would make a
good nesting site for a
Peregrine Falcon?
Discuss with the people
around you why this habitat
would be good or not for a
Peregrine Falcon.
Peregrine Falcons do not build nests.
They find a depression or ledge.
Between 1950 and 1970 the pesticide DDT was being used on farms
all over the world. This hurt the Peregrines by causing their eggs to
become weak. The eggshells would break before the baby birds
were ready to hatch.
DDT is now banned in Canada but is still used in South America
where this bird goes during our winter. Pesticides still kill many of
our songbirds that also migrate south when our weather is very cold.
Yellow Lady's-Slipper
Although it is not officially a species at risk, this beautiful orchid flower is not
very common in Edmonton. If you see one you will remember it. It grows well
in moist forests and meadows. These habitats have suffered as the City of
Edmonton has been developed.
Please do not remove orchids from their natural habitats.
They do not grow well in gardens.
They are for everyone to enjoy!
Interested to find out
how to help these and
other vulnerable
Yellow Lady’s-Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus)
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/gegeonline
Yellow Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedion calceolos)
Photo: iStockphoto
Find out more
See “Get Involved,”
Page 35
If you see an injured
animal, please call the
Wildlife Rehabilitation
Society of Edmonton at
Photo: © Wildlife Rehabilitation
Society of Edmonton
Find the Invader
Find out more
See “Get Involved,” Page 35
See “Plants and Animals in Edmonton,”
Page 37
Invasive NON-NATIVE species:
Some plants and animals brought into a region from other countries or regions
are major threats to the biodiversity of our natural environments. Some of them
become very well adapted to their new homes and take over.
Which of the
following species
are considered
invasive non-native
species in
a) Scentless chamomile
c) Satin moth caterpillar
d) Himalayan balsam
(Matricaria perforata) Photo: © Michael
Brown, Alberta Invasive Plant Council
House Sparrow
(Passer domesticus)
Photo: © Martin Mcmillan |
(Caragana arborescens)
Photo: © Terri Perron
If you guessed that they
ALL are invasive species
you are correct!
(Leucoma salicis)
Photo: © Beentree
(Impatiens glandulifera)
Photo: © Terri Perron
Do you see
Canada thistle?
Did you
know that...
Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) – Photo: © Terri Perron
Canada thistle, despite its name, is not native to Canada. It was brought
here from Europe. This weed can spread and form large patches
because of its underground stems.
Thick patches of Canada
thistle impact biodiversity
by taking up habitat that
could have otherwise been
space for a variety of native
Volunteers pulling thistle at Poplar Lake in Edmonton
Photo: © Kathy Murrie
Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)
Photo: © Terri Perron
Biodiversity in Our Emblems
Some of our provincial emblems can be seen right here in Edmonton’s parks.
Photo: © Martin Osis
Photo: © Kathy Murrie
Photo: © Gerald Romanchuk
Photo: © Terri Perron
Provincial Flower
Your flower name
Provincial Fungus
Your fungus name
Provincial Bird
Your bird name
Provincial Tree
Your tree name
Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta)
Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
Red cap mushroom (Leccinum boreale)
Prickly wild rose (Rosa acicularis)
1. Look at the pictures of some of Alberta’s emblems.
2. Think of some words that describe what the emblem looks like. You can use colours or shapes,
or even compare the emblem to something you are familiar with.
3. Use your descriptions to create your own name for each emblem.
4. Once finished, check what the real names are. Can you see why these names were chosen?
5. Did you see any of these provincial emblems in the park?
Photo: © Arthur Chapman
On Canada’s Citizenship Test, you may be asked:
Photo: © Peter Spirer |
"What is Canada’s National Animal Emblem?"
Do you know the answer?
We like this animal so much we even put it on our five cent coin!
It’s the North American beaver (Castor canadensis)!
Be a beaver detective. If you are close to water there is a good chance
that beavers are nearby. Do you see these clues?
• Chew marks on trees
• Wood chips
• Dams
• Lodges
Photo: © Ross W. Wein
The lodge has an opening underwater.
The beaver can swim quietly into and out
of its home to eat food that is also stored
underwater. This keeps it safe from
animals such as coyotes or bears.
The beaver is our largest rodent. We say "busy as a
beaver" because it works very hard all summer cutting
down trees with its big front teeth. It uses these trees
and branches as food and to build its home. Beavers
use mud to help "glue" the logs together.
Photo: © Terri Perron
To learn about the rest of Alberta’s emblems, visit the
Wild Alberta Gallery at the Royal Alberta Museum.
A Different Angle!
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/AlexandrTimofeev
Just looking at something from a different
angle can lead to surprises!
• Take out your pocket mirror. Tilt it so that you can
peek inside a tree cavity or under a small plant.
What do you notice?
• With your magnifying lens, look at an insect or flower
head. Did you discover something new?
• Get close to the ground and look up instead of down.
• Imagine what this park will look like in the future.
What changes do you predict?
Did you know...
Mushrooms are more like animals than plants! Unlike plants, mushrooms
cannot make their own food. This makes them more closely related to you
and me than to the plants around us!
Blue-staining slippery jack (Suillus tomentosus) – Photo: © Martin Osis
Find out more
Alberta has the only mycological society in all of Manitoba,
Saskatchewan and Alberta. Join here in Edmonton!
See “Programs, Clubs and Events,” Page 36
Nature provides us with many things
We breathe.
We eat.
We drink.
We build.
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/gmnicholas
We play.
We think about our lives.
Time spent in nature helps renew
the spirit and lowers stress. Access
to outdoor recreation promotes
healthy bodies and minds.
Photo: © Terri Perron
Describe your relationship with the nature that
surrounds you.
What do you value the most about the
biodiversity in Edmonton?
Photo: © Bill Burris | Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market
Heading Home
n Vegetable garden
Photo: © Terri Perron
Compost bin
Photo: © Terri Perron
n Flower garden
Photo: © Raquel Feroe
Photo: © Sheri Hendsbee
n Rain barrel
Photo: © Terri Perron
n Bird feeder
Photo: © Terri Perron
When you leave the park, try taking a different
way home. Travelling through quiet back alleys,
schoolyards and different tree-lined streets will
offer new opportunities to see city biodiversity.
n Birdhouse
Photo: © Terri Perron
Do you see examples of how people are living
together with nature?
Check the boxes as you see the items in the
chart on the left. Maybe you will see them all!
n Water feature
Photo: © Terri Perron
n Bushes and trees
Photo: © Ron Berezan
n Balcony garden
Photo: © Shirleen Smith
Streets and buildings in a city can reduce the
amount of natural habitat for wildlife. Plants
and animals become isolated.They cannot move
to a new area to escape danger or to find food
and mates.
Wildlife Corridors
Getting Connected
Edmonton is working hard to create natural connections
between the different parks. The City of Edmonton has planted
over 300,000 trees, which are valued at over $1.7 billion! Some
birds, insects and animals will use these rows of trees as
pathways to get from one natural area to another.
© City of Edmonton
Illustrator: Amanda Woodward
Providing a little patch of nature outside of your home acts as a “stepping
stone”of habitat for some species of wildlife as they move through the city.
Photo: © City of Edmonton
Activity... Do you see wildlife corridors or stepping stones of habitat that could connect wildlife
from the park to your neighbourhood?
Urban Environment: My Diagnosis
Now that you have
carefully looked at
some of Edmonton’s
parkland and
areas, use your
observations to form
your own opinion
about the health
of this city’s
Fill in this chart.
Check the Things
boxes that apply
Excellent!So-so must improve!
Are there trees, shrubs, balcony plants
and gardens providing a biological
connection between your home and
the park?
What is your first impression of the
Do you like the sounds you hear?
Explore other
BioKits and
activities by visiting
the BioKits website.
How is the air quality?
A diagnosis can be printed
from the BioKits website
and can be used for other
park visits.
Are there many kinds of animals?
Are there many kinds of plants and
Did you see or hear pollinators?
Children enjoying nature Photo: © Sherri Hendsbee
Are invasive species being controlled?
Did you see a wetland, stream, river or
See “Get Involved,”
Page 35
Tiger beetle (Cincindela spp)
Photo: © Gerald Romanchuk
Enjoy your environment
and share the good
news! Take action to
help vulnerable
species in your area.
Choose one thing you
would like to help
improve, then join a
club to help find a
Talk to many people
about your concerns.
More people solving
a problem is better
than one.
Creative Memories of Your Park Visit
Back Home
Create a souvenir of your park visit by doing one or
more of the following activities:
• Draw or paint your favourite scene, plant or animal.
• Write a story, poem or song.
• Take an interesting photo, or take several photos
and make a collage!
Photo: © Government of Alberta
Greening Your Lifestyle
Our city’s biodiversity is one of Edmonton’s most
valuable assets. You can take action to promote
Maintain an organic yard
or balcony that welcomes
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/stevecoleimages
Grow with your neighbours...
join a community garden.
Photo: © Kathy Murrie
Grow native plants.
Remove invasive weeds.
Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida)
Photo: © Cherry Dodd
Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)
Photo: © Terri Perron
See “Get Involved,” Page 35
your kitchen scraps.
Photo: © Terri Perron
Prevent your pets from
bothering wildlife.
Photo: ©iStockphoto.com/stevecoleimages
Buy food at a local farmers’ market or through a
community supported agriculture (CSA) program.
Photo: © Bill Burris
Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market
Save water.
Use rainwater from
rain barrels.
Photo: ©Terri Perron
Participate in the Blue Bag Recycle
Program and visit the Reuse Centre.
Photo: ©Terri Perron
Did you know...
The City of Edmonton does NOT permit plants or trees to be removed
from the parks. BUT you can obtain FREE NATIVE SEEDS AND
PLANTS by volunteering at the Old Man Creek Nursery with the
Edmonton Naturalization Group.
Support Biodiversity by Volunteering
Many people consider Edmonton the "Volunteer Capital of Canada,"
and for good reason. There are many opportunities to help make
this city’s environment and its people healthy, safe and happy.
Photo: © Kathy Murrie
Volunteers make
a difference!
Volunteering is a great
way to:
• Connect with your
neighbours and
Photos: © Terri Perron
• Lift your spirits.
• Meet interesting and
diverse people.
Resources for Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer Park Patrol
Website: edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/parks_rivervalley/park-patrol.aspx
Call: 311
Email: [email protected]
Visit: 4th Floor, Century Place 9803 – 102A Ave. NW
Park Steward Program
Website: edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/parks_rivervalley/park-steward-program.aspx
Call: 780-496-4948 or 311
Email: [email protected]
Visit: 4th Floor, Century Place 9803 – 102A Ave. NW
Partner in Parks
Website: edmonton.ca/environmental/conservation_landscaping/partner-in-parks.aspx
Call: 311
Email: [email protected]
Visit: 4th Floor, Century Place 9803 – 102A Ave. NW
Capital City Clean Up (formerly known as River Valley Clean Up)
Website: edmonton.ca/environmental/capital-city-clean-up.aspx
Call: 780-944-5470 or 311
Email: [email protected]
Visit: Beaufort Building 2nd Floor 10835 – 120 Street
Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton
Website: wildlife-edm.ca
Call: leave a message on the hotline 780-914-4118
Email: [email protected]
Visit: call the hotline 780-914-4118 for instructions. The shelter is on an acreage 20 minutes
west of Edmonton
Get Involved
Edmonton Naturalization Group
Website: edmontonnaturalizationgroup.org/get-involved.htm
Email: [email protected] or
Fledge Watch Team – Peregrine Project University of Alberta
Website: falconcam.med.ualberta.ca
Call: 780-492-7134
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Visit: 0-30R Students’ Union Building, 8900 – 114 Street, University of Alberta
Edmonton and Area Land Trust
Website: ealt.ca/volunteer
Call: 780-483-7578
Email: [email protected]
Visit: 9910 – 103 Street
City of Edmonton Master Naturalists
Website: edmonton.ca/masternaturalistprogram
Call: 780-496-6147
Email: [email protected]
Visit: 12th Floor Scotia Place, 10060 Jasper Ave.
Find out more
Website: edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/parks_rivervalley/parks-healthy-by-nature.aspx
Call: 311
Email: [email protected]
Community Facility Services 14th Floor CN Tower for picnic bookings
Visit: 4th Floor, Century Place 9803 – 102A Ave. for general information
Edmonton Transit System:
Website: edmonton.ca/transportation/edmonton-transit-system-ets.aspx
Call: 311
Email: [email protected]
Visit: ETS Customer Services Churchill LRT Station 99 Street and 102A Avenue
Walking or Biking:
Website: edmonton.ca/transportation/cycling-walking.aspx
Call: 780-944-5339 or 311
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Visit: 15th Floor, Century Place 9803 – 102A Avenue or get free trail maps at any Edmonton
Public Library or bike shop
River Valley Programs
Website: edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/parks_rivervalley/river-valley-programs.aspx
Call: 311 or 780-496-2983
Email: [email protected]
Visit: Community Services City of Edmonton Circle Square 11808 St Albert Trail
City of Edmonton Biodiversity Report
Website: edmonton.ca/environmental/documents/PDF/Edmonton_Biodiversity_Report_2008.pdf
Alberta Invasive Plant Council
Website: wheatlandcounty.ca/files/ID%20Book%202010%20%20-%20Final%20-%20Copy.pdf
Call: 1-403-982-7923
Email: [email protected]
Alberta Native Plant Council
Website: anpc.ab.ca
Email: [email protected]
Species at Risk
Website: srd.alberta.ca/FishWildlife/SpeciesAtRisk/Default.aspx
Nature Alberta
Website: naturealberta.ca/alberta-natural-history
Program Guides: free and low cost, daycamps, adult courses, schools, child
and families, etc.
Website: edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/sport_recreation/program-guides.aspx
Call: 311
Edmonton Nature Club
Website: edmontonnatureclub.ca
Write: P.O. Box 1111 Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2M1
Community Garden Network of Edmonton and Area
Website: sustainablefoodedmonton.org/programs/community-gardens
Call: 780-488-2500
Email: http://sustainablefoodedmonton.org/contact-us
Nature Alberta
Website: naturealberta.ca/alberta-natural-history
Call: 780-427-8124
Email: [email protected]
Alberta Mycological Society
Website: wildmushrooms.ws
Email: [email protected]
Write: P.O. Box 1921, 10405 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3S2
Photo: © Liz Brunscheen – Cartagena
Events at the Parks
Website: edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/parks_rivervalley/park-events.aspx
Call: 311
Email: [email protected]
Events with Your Community League
Website: efcl.org/League/Directory/tabid/120/Default.aspx
Call: 780-437-2913
Green Gardening
Website: canadiangardening.com/how-to/organic-gardening/chemical-free-lawncare/a/1835#)
City of Edmonton Conservation Atlas
Website: edmonton.ca/environmental/natural_areas/Natural-area-parks.aspx
City of Edmonton Environmental Programs
Website: edmonton.ca/environmental/environmental-programs.aspx
Urban Wildlife Fact Sheets
Website: hww.ca/en/species/urban-wildlife/
Water Conservation
Website: http://www.ec.gc.ca/education/default.asp?lang=En&n=5DA49E15-1
Climate Change
Websites: climatechange.gc.ca and climate.nasa.gov/kids
Games and quizzes: ecokids.ca
Hinterland Who’s Who (create wildlife habitat in your yard)
Website: hww.ca/en/things-you-can-do/action-awareness
Plants and Photosynthesis
Websites: e-learningforkids.org/Courses/EN/Plants/efk_shell.swf
BiodivCanada (biodiversity in your backyard)
Website: biodivcanada.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=002D699A-1
Fish Habitat
Website: srd.gov.ab.ca
Call: 780-427-3574
Website: edmonton.ca/for_residents/garbage_recycling/compostinggrasscycling.aspx
Call: 780-496-5526 or 780-496-2925
Email: [email protected]
Website: edmonton.ca/for_residents/garbage_recycling/recycling.aspx
Website: pollinationcanada.ca
Call: 1-866-509-SEED
Email: [email protected]
Alberta’s Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Regulations
Website: albertaregulations.ca or mywildalberta.com
Call: 780-427-3574
Northern Saw Whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus)
Photo: © Gerald Romanchuk
Birds of prey
Birds that hunt and kill other animals. They have sharp curved talons and beaks.
Many people travelling together in one car.
A piece of art created by combining photos, clippings or small objects onto a surface.
A mix of rotting leaves and food scraps such as vegetables. It is added to soil to make it better for growing plants.
Trees and shrubs such as pine or spruce that usually have thin needle-like or scaley leaves and cones. They usually do not
drop their leaves in the fall.
Something a beaver builds to stop the flow of water down a stream or river.
Trees and shrubs such as trembling aspen and willow that shed their leaves in the fall.
Does not hurt the environment.
The surroundings and conditions that impact the growth and health of living things.
A chemical or natural substance added to soil to make plants grow better.
Describes an action that benefits the Earth.
Greenhouse gases
The gases (such as those released when car fuel or coal is burned) that cause the sun’s heat to become trapped in the
The place where a plant or animal lives naturally.
Enters an area and takes over. Not invited. Spreads very quickly and harmfully.
Dump. An area of land where people’s garbage goes.
An old story that is passed on through the years.
An organism made up of algae and a fungus growing together. Often found on rocks and trees.
From the Edmonton area.
A beaver’s home.
Animals that feed their babies with breast milk. They have hair or fur, backbones and are warm blooded.
When an animal moves to another home due to seasonal changes.
The study of fungi such as mushrooms, molds or yeasts.
Plants or animals grown or raised without use of drugs, hormones or man-made chemicals.
A chemical or material that kills plants, insects (and other animals) that harm human property.
Powder on the tip of a flower. Male cells of the flower. It helps make new baby plants.
An animal (such as a bee or butterfly) that transfers pollen from flower to flower. Helps to make baby plants.
Garbage, some chemicals and other things that make the air, water or soil dirty. Pollution is not always visible.
An animal that hunts and kills another animal for food.
A long, sharp, hollow spine.
Transform something to make it usable again.
A animal that has strong front teeth that always grow. They mainly feed on hard food such as nuts, bark or trees.
The waste of animals. Animal dung. Poop.
Tree cavity
Hole in a tree that can provide shelter to an animal.
A plant that grows where it is not wanted and can compete with other plants for space, water and nutrients.
An area of land that has wet soil and often open water. The plants and animals that live in these areas are adapted to wet
Wildlife corridor
Rows of plants or trees, as well as waterways, that are not separated by human structures and that provide food and shelter
for species.
Production team
The Edmonton Urban BioKit is an adaptation of the Urban BioKit.
Production: Biosphere (Environment Canada), City of Edmonton, Edmonton
Mennonite Centre for Newcomers
Coordination: Ann Dacres, Suzanne Gross, Angela Hobson, Terri Lynn Perron
Graphic design: Dale Lewis, Graphic Designer, City of Edmonton
Research and Writing: Terri Lynn Perron
Triptych photo on front cover: © City of Edmonton, Office of Biodiversity
White-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii) photo on front cover:
© Tom Reichner/Shutterstock.com
Etienne Angers, André Champoux, Christiane Charlebois, Patsy Cotterill,
Marie Josée Desjardins, Guillaume Francoeur, John Helder, Claude Joyal,
Jean Langlais, Grant Pearsell, Marg Reine, Mary-Ann Thurber, Heather Wheeliker,
Ashley Whitlock and everyone else who contributed discerning suggestions and
comments during the production of this BioKit.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival in Gallagher Park
Photo: © City of Edmonton
Explore other BioKits and complementary activities by visiting ec.gc.ca/biotrousses-biokits
Aussi disponible en français sous le titre : BioTrousse Urbaine Edmonton
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2012
Catalogue No.: En14-37/8-2012E-PDF, ISBN: 978-1-100-20264-8
Legal deposit: Library and Archives Canada, 2012
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