Meewasin Northeast Swale
The greater swale has signs of human habitation and use over the past several centuries, including a remnant section of the Moose Woods – Batoche Trail, Middleton’s staging camp on the trek to the Battle of Batoche, the site of the telegraph line that linked North America to Europe by way of Russia, the site of the old town of Clarkboro and tipi rings from the encampments of the original residents of the Saskatoon area. More recent archeological remains are the lime kilns near the swale and the holes left by the movement of large limestones used to build the University of Saskatchewan.
With less than 20% of native prairie remaining in Saskatchewan (Bailey, McCartney & Schellenberg, 20101), native grasslands are now one of the most imperiled ecosystems on the planet (Gauthier & Riemer, 20032) and are considered endangered (Trottier, 19923). The swale contains considerable areas of native prairie grasslands and offers high quality biodiversity, proximity to urban areas, economic benefits for recreation and education and a natural filter for our air and water. The swale contains wetlands that provide a means of flood control for the surrounding community.
The diversity of environments offers a large variety of plant species (more than 200), birds (more than 100), mammals, amphibians, reptiles and insects that are present in the Meewasin Northeast Swale on a regular basis. The swale is home to several rare, endangered or culturally significant species, including:
- Plants: Crowfoot Violet, Western Red Lily, Narrow-leaved Water Plantain, Sweet Grass
- Birds: Sprague’s Pipit, Barn Swallow, Loggerhead Shrike, Horned Grebe, Short-eared Owl, Common Nighthawk, Sharp Tailed Grouse
- Amphibians: Northern Leopard Frog
Losing this native prairie and wetland means the loss of thousands of years of natural and cultural history. This resource can never be replaced. Please take care of your Meewasin Northeast Swale and educate others as to its value.
Click here for a location map of the Meewasin Northeast Swale.
An Ecoblitz was conducted in the Swale in May 2012. Use QuickTime to watch the video.
1 Bailey, A., McCartney, D., & Schellenberg, M. (2010). Management of Canadian prairie rangeland. Swift Current, SK: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Government of Canada.
2 Gauthier, D., & Riemer, G. (2003). Introduction to prairie conservation. In P. Partnership (Ed.), Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan 2003-2008. (pp. 1-8). Regina, SK: Canadian Plains Research Centre, University of Regina.
3 Trottier, G. (1992). A landowner's guide: Conservation of Canadian prairie grasslands. Edmonton, AB: Ministry of Environment, Canadian Wildlife Service.