Beaver Creek Conservation Area
Wandering across the deck behind the Beaver Creek Interpretive Centre, an overwhelming impression of space fills the senses. Birdsong floats up from the verdant valley of Aspen, Birch and Poplar, silhouetted against a cloudless, bright blue sky. Sunlight sparkles off the orange, silty creek as it meanders towards the South Saskatchewan River. Here the industrious beaver lives harmoniously, enjoying the abundant groves of Trembling Aspen – its main food source. Moving across the landscape, beavers engineer dams that create ponds, providing habitat for many creatures such as the Mink, Great Blue Heron, and Northern Leopard Frog.
Welcome to Meewasin’s Beaver Creek Conservation Area – a place of tangible energy, teeming with wildlife and diversity!
Beaver Creek is on Treaty Six Territory, the Homeland of the Métis and the traditional hunting and trade territories of the Dakota. Indeed, habitation and kill sites indicate occupation for over 5,000 years! Humans and wildlife have been continually drawn back to the sacred waters, food and medicines nourished by the creek, forest, remnant sand hill, and grassland habitats.
A microcosm of the Meewasin Valley — with four unique trails, there is always something new and beautiful to explore as each season transitions into the next.
In the spring, imagine shrinking down to explore the world of ants, bark beetles, fungi, moss and lichen in the forest on the Aspen Grove Trail (Red Trail). A vibrant micro-world waiting to be discovered!
Listen for the soft buzzing of native bees as they join vibrant butterflies fluttering among the wildflowers along the River View Trail (Green Trail). In the summer, different wildflowers bloom each week, painting bright splashes of color across the grasslands. The aroma of juniper and sage drifts on the late summer breeze.
Early autumn along the Discovery Trail (Yellow Trail) presents a breathtaking transformation! Leaves change from green to golden yellows, into burnished oranges and bright reds. The deep red bark of the Red-osier Dogwood creates a picturesque backdrop for the curious and friendly Black-capped Chickadee.
Collect a scoop of black-oiled sunflower seeds (the Chickadee’s favorite snack) from an Interpreter at the Interpretive Centre. Listen for the trademark call of chicka-dee-dee–dee as these curious birds come investigate. With a tiny flutter they alight on outreached hands, eager for a tasty treat!
Winter brings nature’s diamonds and deep quiet. Hoarfrost decorates trees and snow lies delicately across the landscape. Notice the ice floes on the river while snowshoeing along the Living Sky Trail (Blue Trail). The crisp air highlights each crunch into the snow.
While adventuring at Beaver Creek Conservation Area, remember, this site deserves care, conservation, and respect. It is home to many creatures and plants, and not simply a site for human recreation.
Many recall visiting this special place as children, but there is wonder and beauty to discover at any age. It is a treasure in Saskatoon’s backyard that offers new wonders with each visit, from week to week, season to season, and year to year. Come explore the creek-side of things!
– Mia Nemeth & Amber Burton
miýwâsin is nȇhiyawȇwin/Cree for ‘it is beautiful’
Meewasin is a non-profit organization that exists to ensure a healthy and vibrant river valley, with a balance between human use and conservation, for the benefit of present and future generations, in Saskatoon & area.
Practice Stewardship While Adventuring!
- Take a pic, don’t pick! Although tempting to take a memento, a picture lasts longer and doesn’t impact sensitive habitats!
- Stay on the marked trails. Help protect the plants and wildlife that call this place home!
- The trails are only for hiking. No dogs or bikes are allowed on site, and there is no water access.
- Pack-it-in and Pack-it-out. Please keep litter out of this special place!
- Hand-feeding the Chickadees. Black-oiled sunflower seeds are best for our feathered friends! Seeds are handed out at the Interpretive Centre; please don’t bring wild seed on site. Although adorable, the ground squirrels and chipmunks shouldn’t be fed to keep both them and you safe!
Gallery of Beaver Creek
Dancing patch of Prairie Coneflower
Long Horned Bee on Gaillardia
Diversity of Lichen
Wild Rose with Goldenrod Crab Spider
Western Red Lily
Hoarfrost on the Creek
Find your Meewasin Moment
- In the summer, sit beneath the Purple Martin house and listen to their pops and chatter.
- Forget time and lose yourself along one of the trails
- Find a secret sit spot to nature journal, read a book, or have a picnic!
- Look for those first signs of spring signaled by Prairie Crocus blooms on the Red and Green trails.
- Find animal tracks in the winter snow. What stories do they tell?
- Become a citizen scientist! Use iNaturalist to learn about local wildlife and complete a seasonal EcoScavenger Hunt card from the Interpretive Centre.
There are many ways to be stewards of Beaver Creek and the Meewasin Valley to learn more about special events and how to get involved visit www.meewasin.com!