Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is wrapping up its year with the completion of several innovative projects and is planning a few more for the New Year.
The park’s bee initiative is one of the organization’s biggest projects to be completed this past summer.
It involves a number of bee ecologists visiting the park and demonstrating how to capture various bee species and then how to identify the insects.
“We then upload that information onto the Preservation Canada website so they’re able to track all the species of bees and monitor their health here,” said Nathan Foy, visitor services and public programmer.
“That one was pretty good. There was a pretty good success rate – on average there’s about 10 per cent of new colonies that actually colonize within the first year, Foy said adding that that’s the national average.
“We got 12 out of our 100 boxes (to colonize) so we’re a little better than the average,” Foy said.
In October, the park also invited a member from the Stoney Nakoda reserve to lead a group in a tipi set up and takedown.
Foy said it’s one of the ranch’s big community engagement events and the tipi event took about 20 to 25 people.
Currently, the park is working on building a four-season interpretive centre that will be used for a number of activities in the park.
Some of the programs will be educational and will include some of the current programs such as the exploration through the grasslands. Participants will be guided on an interpretive walk to learn about fauna, flora and the natural history of the land.
Also available to the public is the pond program, which is available for birthday parties and large groups.
“It’s pretty cool, we actually go down to the pond sample some of the invertebrates then go back up to our classroom and identify them and talk about their purpose within the ecosystem,” Foy said.
Last night the park hosted a guest speaker – 84-year-old Gus Yaki, who discussed his 10-day expedition across Alberta – as part of the park’s monthly talks.
The park talks are set to resume in January.