Airdrie is home to a variety of natural areas, all of which have an important ecological function for flora (vegetation), fauna (animals), and the water cycle. Within Airdrie, natural areas support resident wildlife such as American Mink, Muskrats, and the White-tailed Jackrabbit. Migratory bird species such as the Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorant, and the Ring-necked Grebe use the natural areas to nest, raise their young, forage for food, and offer needed resting areas for migratory birds on their long journeys; some of which have travelled as far as Europe and Central America!
Natural areas comprise approximately 26% of the city’s parks. This represents 243 acres of land which varies in maintenance objectives, methods, and frequency. These areas are typically located in drainage areas, storm pond fringe, under-utilized park space, areas of ecological significance, and/or areas suitable for habitat connectivity.
Why does the City leave areas Natural/Naturalize?
* Reduce unnecessary water consumption
* Eliminate unnecessary mowing
* Increase habitat and connectivity for wildlife
* Provide areas for school groups to learn about nature
* Natural buffer/filter to protect water quality, and
* Create areas for residents to enjoy nature within the urban environment
By allocating some areas to naturalize, we reduce the need for watering and mowing, while increasing habitat for wildlife and vegetative species. By allowing the grasses to grow to their natural height and planting native grasses, we reduce soil erosion, and reduce nutrient accumulation in water bodies.
What you can do?
* Do not mow outside your property
* Do not dump yard waste (including grass clippings and sod) use a green bin!
* Do not plant on City land
* Do not dispose of garbage or construction debris
* Keep dogs on leash to protect wildlife
* Pick up after your pets, and
* Enjoy the natural environment!